Over the last 6 months, a Londonderry animal charity has rescued five neglected or abused springer spaniels. But the last one they rescued in late July was what one rescue worker called the worst case of neglect she had ever seen. Ellie was in such a bad shape she couldn’t even stand, and had to be carried to the rescuer’s car so she could be taken to the vet.
"She was completely emaciated, her ribs [were] coming through her skin, her skin is red raw and she was badly dehydrated.”
Unfortunately there is likely to be no justice for her. Northern Ireland has experienced a boom in animal abuse cases, yet punishment has rarely been meted out. In fact, since 2012, four thousand animal welfare cases have been investigated by local councils annually. In 2012 -2014 only 114 resulted in convictions and less than 10% of those resulted in incarceration. This is unacceptable.
The rise in animal cruelty cases in Northern Ireland is alarming but if the government refuses to convict, or follow such convictions with real punishment, then the trend will only continue to get worse.
Northern Ireland needs to combat this rising trend with real action by investigating more cases, taking those who commit animal abuse to task, and punishing those who are caught with stiff prison sentences. Let’s make sure there are no more stories like Ellie’s. Sign the petition and demand tougher sentences for animal abusers.