Bin liner full of puppies thrown in canal just one of thousands of animal cruelty calls in West Midlands

Almost 3,000 animal cruelty calls have been made to RSPCA helplines over the last three years in the West Midlands and Staffordshire according to "shocking and deeply upsetting" new statistics.

The puppies were found in a bin liner in Tipton. We have pixellated the image due to its distressing nature
The puppies were found in a bin liner in Tipton. We have pixellated the image due to its distressing nature

The figures come in the wake of the high-profile case of West Ham United footballer Kurt Zouma, who was prosecuted after a video of him kicking his cat went viral on social media.

In June, Zouma was sentenced to 180 hours of community service and was banned from owning a cat for five years after pleading guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Now, RSPCA figures show that they received almost 2,000 calls from the West Midlands over the last three years, and almost 1,000 calls from Staffordshire - which is excluded from the West Midlands figures.

The animal charity received 1,979 calls from the West Midlands and 900 from Staffordshire over the past three years to its helpline for reporting intentional harm to an animal.

Intentional harm incidents involve attempted or improper killings, beatings, poisonings, mutilations and injuries or deaths in suspicious circumstances.

Across England, 35,379 calls were made reporting intentional harm over the last three years.

Specific incidents in the West Midlands include three newborn puppies who were found dead after they were put in a bin liner and thrown into a canal in Tipton last year.

The puppies are thought to have been alive for less than 24 hours and were found with their umbilical cords still attached.

Construction workers at the West Midlands Metro site at Park Lane West in Tipton noticed a suspicious package floating in the water near Mission Drive, just before Christmas.

The men notified the RSPCA after they pulled the bag from the water and found three dead puppies wrapped in white dishcloths, along with various plastic bags and a ‘Mamia’ nappy box inside.

It wasn’t possible to tell whether the pups, thought to be Staffordshire Bull terriers, were alive when they were put into the bag, although all three appeared to be healthy.

A few months later, a decomposing dog was found in a Wolverhampton canal with a "suspicious-looking cut" along the entire length of its abdomen.

In another horrifying case, a female dog was found dead in a ditch between Brownhills and Great Wyrley in March with a cable tied around her neck and a shower curtain wrapped around her abdomen.

The dog was so badly covered with maggots when she was discovered that she was not recognisable, and due to not being microchipped it is not clear who she belonged to.

And in Stoke-on-Trent, a woman has been banned from keeping animals for three years after her neglect led to her dog becoming emaciated and covered in lesions.

The two-year-old lurcher/whippet cross was so underweight that a vet who examined her said she had a body condition score of only one out of nine and could have eaten the tip of her tail due to extreme hunger.

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA chief inspectorate officer, said: "It is a sad reality that we deal with animal cruelty every day here at the RSPCA.

"We are a nation of animal lovers but yet we received over 11,000 complaints of intentional harm through our helpline last year reporting animals from cats, dogs, hedgehogs and everything in between who have sadly been victims of deliberate cruelty.

"We need your help to keep our frontline officers out on the road saving animals and to help us raise awareness that this cruelty is never acceptable."

Mr Murphy also highlighted the rise in intentional harm calls during the summer months – nationally, more calls were taken between July and September than any other three-month period last year.

August was the busiest month for the RSPCA nationally, with 1,041 calls taken – an increase of 10 per cent on the same month the year before.

The RSPCA is also concerned that the rise in pet ownership during the coronavirus pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis could lead to a rise in animal cruelty incidents in the future.

The charity received more than one million calls reporting all types of cruelty in 2021, with more than 1,000 killings and almost 8,000 beatings reported.

Meanwhile, more than 38,000 animal abandonments were recorded last year.

"These figures are shocking and deeply upsetting and show why we need your help to save those animals who need us the most now more than ever," Mr Murphy said.

To help support the RSPCA, visit:

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News