Red is success story as animal cruelty convictions increase

HAPPY AGAIN Anne-Marie Cole with her rescue dog Red at the Stubbington Ark.  Picture: Steve Reid (121444-775)
HAPPY AGAIN Anne-Marie Cole with her rescue dog Red at the Stubbington Ark. Picture: Steve Reid (121444-775)
Alex Wardle, from Lee-on-the-Solent, collapsed at home and tragically died in March 2016, aged 23. 

From left: Alex's father, Stephen Wardle, sister Gemma Wardle, Alex Wardle and his mother, Denise Wardle.

Gosport family to keep Alex’s legacy alive by taking part in Great South Run

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HE was beaten, kicked, thrown and strangled by his owner.

But now, thanks to staff at the Stubbington Ark, collie cross dog Red has been rehomed and is leading a happy life.

His story was revealed today by the RSPCA as it released figures showing that the number of people convicted of cruelty and neglect to animals rose by nearly a quarter in England and Wales last year.

As well as a rise in those convicted under the Animal Welfare Act, bans on keeping animals also increased, along with the number of prison sentences imposed for animal cruelty.

In the south, the number of people convicted for cruelty and neglect was 60 per cent higher than in 2010. A total of 545 people were reported to the RSPCA prosecutions department compared to 353 in 2010.

But Jenny Ride, RSPCA inspector at the Stubbington Ark, said it was good to know the public are acting on abuse towards animals.

‘The figures have gone up because the public are reporting more,’ she said.

‘An increase in calls means an increase in visits and therefore an increase in convictions. It’s a positive thing. We wouldn’t be where we are without members of the public coming in.’

A court heard how Red was abused because he wouldn’t stand still and have his paws wiped.

The owner, a Southampton man, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to provide him with veterinary care.

He was banned from keeping animals for life and sentenced to 300 hours of unpaid work.

Jenny added: ‘Red’s case is key. We have got a strong man acting with all his power against a dog who can’t defend himself.

‘I’ve been an inspector for 10 years and Red was one of the worst deliberate cruelty cases I have dealt with.

‘Now, Red is a different dog. He was a shell of a dog. He didn’t want to play. Slight sounds scared him to death. The new owners have done a lot of work with him and a lot of training.’

Now, Jenny is encouraging people to come forward if they suspect an animal is suffering from cruelty.

‘We are made aware of it so we can act quickly.

‘Anyone concerned about calling up need not worry as calls can be made anonymously.’

To report cruelty to an animal call 0300 1234 999.