Page last updated at 16:12 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Greyhound found with ears cut off

An X-ray image shows how the kitten was shot in the head with an air rifle

The carcass of a pregnant greyhound had its ears cut off to conceal the owner's identity, the RSPCA has revealed.

The ears of the animal, which was found near Bristol last month, would have been marked with tattoos which could have enabled the culprit to be traced.

The case is part of a "sickening catalogue" of recent acts of abuse in the area, the RSPCA said.

In other incidents, a kitten was shot in the head with an air rifle and a cat was attacked with a crossbow.

The RSPCA said the greyhound was found dumped on 14 February on wasteland in the village of Iron Acton, near Yate.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "Irish racing greyhounds are tattooed in the ear for identification purposes, and it is thought that the dog, a female greyhound who was heavily pregnant with six pups, was mutilated in order to prevent the culprits in this horrific case from being traced.

'Very distressing'

"The charity is hoping someone will recognise the dog, who is black with white markings under her chin and a white blaze between her forelegs, as well as two white spots on her throat."

It is not yet clear how the dog, thought to have been about four years old, died.

RSPCA inspector John Atkinson said: "This is a very distressing incident for all involved and we are investigating every possible avenue.

"If any member of the public saw people dumping the dog, or knows of a dog answering this description, I would urge them to contact the RSPCA at once."

In the other attacks, a British blue shorthaired cat was found with a crossbow bolt in its side on 17 February.

The pet has had surgery and it is hoped it will recover.

The day before, a seven-month-old kitten was shot in the head with an air rifle.

Its owners found their pet collapsed outside the back door of their Knowle home.

The kitten has made a good recovery, although vets were unable to remove the airgun pellet which remains lodged in its neck.

The RSPCA is asking anyone with information about any of the attacks to come forward.

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