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Last Updated: Wednesday July 20 2005 13:50 GMT

'Shocking rise' in animal cruelty

Poorly cat
There has been a shocking rise in the number of animal cruelty cases, according to the latest statistics from welfare charity the RSPCA.

More than 70,000 creatures were badly treated last year - a rise of 78% on the figures for 2003-4.

This included nearly 20,000 animals who were not given access to water. Many more were not given food or shelter.

The RSPCA is now calling for a change in the law to make people take more responsibility for their pets.

An RSPCA spokesman said: "These statistics are truly shocking and we must ask the government to take notice and act now."

Rocky and his owner Dan
Newsround spoke to Dan Sherriff, owner of two-year-old Rocky, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Rocky was only five months old when his ears were cruelly cut off.

But the RSPCA took him in and helped him recover. Dan said: "They looked after him really well. Now he's really happy and very playful."

In a separate issue, the RSPCA is set to meet with an aircraft company following the death of a dog on a flight from London to Sydney, Australia, in April

It's thought the dog suffered dehydration. His bowl was found empty and chewed up.

Sad

British Airways said it had carried out regular checks on the dog and was "very sad" the animal had died.

The firm confirmed it was meeting with RSPCA officials to discuss pet transportation.



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