Episode 18 Animal 24:7


Episode 18

Tom Heap joins the police cracking down on badger baiting; there's a happy ending for a cat stuck up a tree; and the story of Babe, the emaciated Great Dane.


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Transcript


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Britain's animals are under threat.

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All too often, our wildlife and pets are victims of cruelty,

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persecution and neglect.

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Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people

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trying to protect them right around the clock.

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This is Animal 24:7.

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'Today on Animal 24:7...

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'Babe, the starved Great Dane reduced to skin and bone.'

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The rib bones, you wouldn't expect to see them that prominently.

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Similarly, the bones of the spine.

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This is an emaciated dog.

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'A night-time pursuit in search of illegal poachers.'

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Two reports from two separate witnesses on the same incident.

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You'd say the trail was pretty hot at the moment.

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He's getting interested. He can smell it.

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'And will this scaredy-cat take the bait?'

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If it listens to the instructions I give it, it'll be a piece of cake.

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I've got a funny feeling it's not going to!

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Let's see if we can... promote its descent.

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Pets are no different to humans in becoming unwell and needing medical help to recover.

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Whereas we can take ourselves to the doctor's, animals need their owners to make an appointment at the vet's.

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Most pet owners do, but others ignore the problems

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and, in some cases, this can become a matter of life and death.

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'For an RSPCA inspector, one of the first skills learned

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'is how to deal with people.

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'In Salford, Inspector Lisa Lupson's had a report that a dog

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'is suffering with a skin condition.'

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Hello?

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We've had a call about your dog, concerned about its fur loss.

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BARKS I can't hear you properly.

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'The owner, Alf, is hard of hearing.

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'Lisa will have to work to get her advice across.'

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What's your dog called?

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-What's he called?

-Yeah.

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-What's he called?

-Billy.

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Can I have a look at Billy's skin? He's got sore skin.

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Yeah, it's where he's been biting himself.

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'Billy's skin is inflamed. It's clear it's left him uncomfortable.'

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Do you know why he's been biting himself? He's got fleas.

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That's why he's chewing himself. He's crawling with them.

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'Alf hasn't neglected Billy on purpose.'

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-You're struggling to get him to the vet?

-With a bad leg.

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'Lisa is happy to take a gentle approach.'

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I've got some flea treatment in my van.

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Can I treat him now for you?

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Yeah? And we'll try and kill these fleas that he's got.

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You'll have to treat him every two months. I'll be one minute.

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It's a really common problem with people who've got animals with fleas

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and don't get the fleas treated.

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It's really simple to kill them off, then the problem will go away.

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People let it get on top of them.

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He's an old man, as well. He's not got transport.

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I don't know if he's got family or friends. I'll try and find out.

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'Back in the yard, Billy gets ready for treatment.'

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Come on, then. Let's get them fleas.

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'Soon, he'll be free from itching.'

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-Keep still!

-This is going to make you feel better!

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Plenty on for you.

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Good boy!

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Hopefully, in a month's time, this'll all be better.

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Apart from his skin, he looks a very happy dog.

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'Billy's been lucky. Lisa reached him before his condition got worse.'

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Come on, you!

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Don't want you coming home with me.

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'It's clear he's well loved.

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'Sadly, not every owner has such affection for their pets.

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'Manchester animal hospital.

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'Staff are fighting to save the life of their most recent patient.

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'This is Babe, barely recognisable as a Great Dane.

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'She is dangerously thin

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'and is one of the worst cases of neglect staff here have seen.

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'Babe was brought in by her owner.

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'They told the vet that she collapsed in the garden.

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'After leaving her for three hours, they finally decided to seek help.

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'David Yates has been caring for her

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'since she was brought in two days ago.'

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She was in a poor, depressed state.

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We believe she was suffering from the effects of hypothermia.

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It was a cold night and her body temperature had dropped considerably.

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We warmed her up with intravenous fluids

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and provided supportive care, feeding little and often,

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and she seems to be responding quite well.

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'Babe is less than half her ideal weight.

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'Almost every bone is visible.'

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You "condition score" animals. There's a score chart.

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From one to nine, this is a one or two. This is at the extremes.

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This is an emaciated dog.

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The rib bones, you wouldn't expect to see them that prominently.

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Similarly, the bones of the spine. These are the pelvic bones

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we can see here.

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You should be able to feel them if you press firmly, in a normal dog.

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This is profound weight loss.

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Come on, Babe. Come on.

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'She's recently had puppies.

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'Although dogs can lose weight when feeding young, they should never get into this state.'

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I'm alarmed that she was brought in in this condition.

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You'd expect an observant owner to seek veterinary attention early on.

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'It's not just Babe's weight that is concerning staff.

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'She's also downbeat and depressed.

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'There's a real worry she may not be strong enough to pull through.'

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It's going to take a while for her metabolism to adapt, to gain weight.

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It's not a quick fix on this one.

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'Dave has already taken blood samples,

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'which should show if Babe's weight loss is due to an underlying cause,

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'or Babe has merely been starved.'

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It would be difficult to say whether there are long-term implications

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with her losing such weight.

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The blood result will be useful to find out how her organs are.

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'The vets believe this is a serious case of animal neglect.

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'They've called RSPCA inspector Lisa Lupson to investigate.

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'She wastes no time in seeing the owners

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'to ask why they left their pet to suffer like this.'

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There were three people I interviewed with regards to Babe.

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They all said that she'd had 12 puppies

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and because of that, that's how she lost the weight.

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Yeah, having puppies does make a dog lose weight,

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but it certainly shouldn't have been to that extreme.

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They took her to the vet's when she collapsed. That is unacceptable.

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'The RSPCA legal team will decide whether to prosecute Babe's owners.

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'In the meantime, everyone at the surgery is hoping

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'that this poor dog will somehow find the strength to survive.

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'Later, a big day for Babe. Will she be fit enough to leave hospital?'

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We need a small percentage of weight gain each week to get her back up

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to 55, 60 kilos, so she's got a reasonable way to go.

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'And time to call in the experts

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'to rescue the cat that's stuck up a tree.'

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The fire service go, "Sh-sh-sh!" and it'd be down in a minute.

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Miaow.

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Figures suggest that wildlife crime could have doubled in the past year.

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One major problem is badger baiting, where dog owners force their pet

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to fight badgers to test their "toughness".

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The police and the RSPCA are determined to crack down on it, but they've got their work cut out.

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'Caught red-handed.

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'This is RSPCA undercover footage. It shows two men badger baiting.'

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DOG YELPS

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'The yelps of their terriers can be heard through the woods.'

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YELPING AND WHINING

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'The men were found guilty

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'of interfering with a sett and attempting to kill a badger.

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'This is not an isolated case.

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'Even though they're a protected species,

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'every year, thousands of badgers are killed in the UK.

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'Lancashire - police have been alerted to a sett that's been dug up

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'by suspected baiters.'

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The classic bank. The badgers love to burrow.

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'Police wildlife crime officer Duncan Thomas took me to the scene.'

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Even I can tell that's not been done by a badger.

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This is a really good example

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of a man dig.

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-This is human digging. This is not the badger.

-Explain how it works.

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Where do they dig? How do they know what to do?

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OK. The terrier is introduced into the sett.

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When the terrier finds the badger, they need to dig down quickly

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to where the combat is taking place in order to protect the terrier,

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and also to view what's going on.

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What they use is a "terrier locator" which guarantees

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they can pinpoint where the terrier is,

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get directly above it and dig straight down.

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When you look at that hole, that is straight down.

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'This modified dog collar helps me see this terrier locator in action.'

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This is in the hand of the person who wants to dig.

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Put your hand three feet that way.

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If I switch this on, it doesn't pick up anything

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until it gets to this point.

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-RAPID CLICKS Can you hear that clicking?

-Yeah.

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As that clicks,

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it'll fade in and out to the point where I know exactly

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when I'm above the collar.

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'Hard core terrier men

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'use badger baiting as a way of testing their dogs' fighting skills.

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'Badgers are usually docile creatures but, when under threat,

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'a badger will fight, especially if it's a female defending its young.

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'So the baiters often deliberately injure the badger,

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'to make sure it's not a "fair" contest.'

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In terms of conservation, then the badger populations are very healthy.

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There's no major issue in terms of population levels.

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It's the sheer horror of this activity.

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It's medieval. It has no place nowadays.

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'This kind of wildlife crime is not just restricted to Lancashire.

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'It's a problem all over Britain,

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'and something forces across the country are trying to stamp out.'

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To catch badger diggers or poachers in the act,

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night time is generally the right time.

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In North Yorkshire, they're in the midst of a special operation

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to crack down on wildlife crime.

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'PC Kevin Kelly is heading up tonight's patrol,

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'Operation Jumbo.'

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We're looking for anybody involved in poaching, badger baiting,

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disturbing badger setts, chasing deer, hunting mammals with dogs.

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We believe these people are linked to organised crime.

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We're looking at stop-searches to see the level of criminality.

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Happy hunting.

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'It's 7 o'clock in the evening and we head out to begin our eight-hour night shift.'

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Operation Jumbo, PC Kelly speaking.

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'Operation Jumbo relies on local people calling a hotline

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'to report suspicious sightings.'

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Right, whereabouts are you? Give me the exact location.

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'Kevin and PC Rich Harrison are one of five two-man teams out tonight.

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'The early calls seem to be false alarms,

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'so we position ourselves

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'in a spot that should be perfect for catching poachers.'

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Kevin, why have we snuck in here?

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The people that we're after will stay away from main roads.

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They don't want to come to the attention of anybody.

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We choose spots like this where we can tuck ourselves away.

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It's also a good vantage point if anybody's out poaching with lamps.

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We can see right across the fields into the north of the district.

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-And we're 30 seconds or a minute away from a motorway.

-Really?

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We can get north and south if any units need to assist.

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-We'll let them come to us.

-Watch and wait.

-Yeah.

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'This is the start of our shift.

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'Now, we must just sit and wait.

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'Coming up, the people may have fled but the clues are still there.'

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-As far as you're concerned...

-This is the poacher's chariot.

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'And Babe the Great Dane comes on leaps and bounds.'

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-36?

-Yeah, we'll go with that.

-Six kilos in a week! Amazing!

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Just from, literally, feeding her. Makes you sick, doesn't it?

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Cats can be adventurous and, while it might seem a cliche,

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the tree remains the favourite place for our feline friends to get stuck.

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Most cats eventually free themselves

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but in Tyne and Wear, Inspector Trevor Walker's on his way to one

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that's reluctant to come down to earth.

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'In Blackhall Mill near Newcastle,

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'a mischievous moggy has got into difficulty.

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'The cat called Toby has gone on an adventure up this high tree...'

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Miaow.

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'..and he's stuck.

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'Inspector Trevor Walker has been called in to rescue it.'

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The cat is on a fairly horizontal branch,

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about 30 or 40 foot high.

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The problem is, with it being on a very steep bank,

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we're going to have problems in getting access

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to find a footing.

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'The terrain makes this a potentially dangerous job,

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'but this terrified cat has been stuck without food for several days.

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'Trevor needs to help.'

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Four days for a cat up a tree, it must be quite petrified coming down.

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Normally, food is the spur,

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whereby they climb back down the tree.

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They're all OK going up the tree. The problem is climbing down.

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'Trevor was first called yesterday and left it some food,

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'hoping hunger would persuade it down.

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'But he's refusing to budge, so Trevor's going to have to act.'

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Miaow.

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'The steep, muddy banking isn't easy to climb.

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'And, at the top, things don't get any easier.'

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Miaow.

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'The sheer height of the tree will make this a challenging rescue.

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'Fortunately, Trevor's got a plan.'

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I've got a couple of ideas, which is why I brought the poles with me.

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A rather large net goes on the end.

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If it listens to the instructions I give it, it'll be a piece of cake.

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I've a funny feeling it's not going to. Let's see what we can do.

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Let's see if we can... promote its descent.

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That's probably a good word.

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Miaow.

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'With the trusty extending pole and net primed,

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'Trevor edges it towards Toby.

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'He needs to be careful. There's a chance the cat could fall.'

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-CLICKS HIS TONGUE

-Toby! Toby!

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Come on. Come on, then.

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'Toby is bemused by the net,

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'but there's no way he'll take the plunge.'

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'Trevor tries a different approach. He decides to go over the top.

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'But, just as Toby is nearly netted, Trevor fails to control the net.

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'One hasty grab could end in disaster.

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'It seems a more cunning plan is in order.

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'Trevor decides to bait the net with cat food.'

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I want it to be more inquisitive.

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See if we can get it to put its paws in the net.

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'Without food or water for days, Trevor's hoping the tasty treat

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'tempts Toby into the net.'

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He's interested. He can smell it.

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'The plan seems to be working.'

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Go for the other side now.

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'Just when Trevor thinks Toby will step into his trap...'

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Come on, Toby.

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'..he sneaks out the other side.'

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-CHUCKLING:

-Just had all his body in then.

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'At least he's getting a much-needed meal.'

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Doesn't look like a cat that's got a problem.

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'As Toby cleans up after his snack...'

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This is a losing battle.

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'..Trevor decides there's only one option left.

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'Time to call in the experts.'

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I think it's going to have to be fire service.

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Hi, it's Trevor Walker from the RSPCA.

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I'm back with the cat.

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I've tried to get it down with some extending poles and a net.

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OK. Cheers.

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Fire service will go "Sh-sh-sh" and it'll be down in a minute.

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Miaow.

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Mia-aow.

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'After half an hour, the fire crew arrives with some very long ladders.

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'They should easily reach Toby.

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'Despite the crew's expertise, this new strategy is still risky.'

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Once it gets in it, just twist net over like that, to hold it in.

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'If frightened, Toby could retreat higher and out of reach.'

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CLICKS TONGUE Toby. Toby.

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Good lad.

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'Thankfully, Toby's an inquisitive and friendly cat and doesn't flee

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'from the firefighter's grasp.

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'This time, there's no escaping the net.'

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-OK?

-Yeah.

-There you go.

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'On the ground, Trevor gets a good look at Toby

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'after his stay in the treetops.'

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I thought he might have been thin

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but doesn't appear to have lost a great deal of weight.

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There is a bit of an issue with dehydration,

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but he's still bright.

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He was grooming himself on the branch -

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in between playing with the net.

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I think, all in all, he's fine.

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'It's been a lucky escape for the juvenile cat.

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'Trevor's optimistic he'll have learned his lesson.'

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Hopefully, he'll remember and he won't venture up any more trees.

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'Still to come...'

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Go straight across here.

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'The calls come in thick and fast in the hunt for the poachers.'

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These guys we've been chasing are the guys we pulled over earlier.

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They said they had permission but I don't think this is the right farm.

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We're back with Babe, the emaciated Great Dane.

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She was brought in to the Greater Manchester animal hospital,

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so skinny she had collapsed.

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Staff have been working to keep her alive

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and it's time to see how she's getting along.

0:22:530:22:56

'Babe has been living at the surgery for almost a week now.

0:23:000:23:04

'Although well cared for, hospital is the last place she wants to be.

0:23:040:23:10

'Today, vet Sean Taylor needs to check her health.'

0:23:110:23:16

Let's have a look at you.

0:23:160:23:18

'And see if she's fit enough to move to the local kennels.'

0:23:180:23:23

I believe she's been eating well. She has put on some weight.

0:23:230:23:28

She is an awful lot brighter than she was last week.

0:23:280:23:32

She's much livelier.

0:23:320:23:34

I'm going to give her a quick examination, give her the all-clear

0:23:340:23:40

with regards to getting out of hospital to go into boarding.

0:23:400:23:45

We need to get some weight gains back on her.

0:23:450:23:48

Once we know that she's back to full health,

0:23:480:23:51

it's over to the RSPCA to allow them to do their follow-up

0:23:510:23:56

with regards to the owner allowing her to get into this condition.

0:23:560:24:02

'Great Danes are large dogs but Babe's a shadow of her former self.'

0:24:020:24:07

For her breed, she's probably about 50% underweight.

0:24:070:24:11

I would expect a Great Dane, a female Great Dane,

0:24:110:24:15

to be somewhere in the region of about 55 to 60 kilograms.

0:24:150:24:19

When we weighed her last week she weighed 30 kilos.

0:24:190:24:24

She looks like she's put a bit of weight on over the last seven days.

0:24:240:24:30

We need a small percentage of weight gain

0:24:300:24:33

each week, hopefully, to get her back up towards 55, 60 kilos.

0:24:330:24:38

She's got a way to go.

0:24:380:24:41

'This is a big moment for Babe.

0:24:410:24:43

'If she's put on weight, she can move to a more comfortable place.

0:24:430:24:49

'RSPCA inspector Lisa Lupson has been investigating this case

0:24:500:24:54

'and has arrived for the crucial weigh-in.'

0:24:540:24:57

Hiya, Sean. She looks so much better, don't you?

0:24:590:25:03

'Just one week ago, Babe weighed 30 kilos...'

0:25:030:25:07

Let's get you weighed, then.

0:25:070:25:09

'..less than half of her ideal weight.'

0:25:090:25:12

Come on. Up you get.

0:25:140:25:16

Put your paw on.

0:25:190:25:22

-36?

-36, yeah. We'll go with that.

-Six kilos in a week. Amazing!

0:25:240:25:30

'Lisa's delighted with this result.

0:25:300:25:32

'Sean also has the results of Babe's blood tests.

0:25:320:25:36

'These show there is no underlying condition to cause weight loss.

0:25:360:25:41

'Further proof that Babe has been starved.'

0:25:410:25:44

-Just from, literally, feeding her.

-Yeah.

-Makes you sick, doesn't it?

0:25:470:25:53

-Haven't done anything else, really.

-That's brilliant news!

0:25:530:25:57

'It's not just Babe's weight that's improved.

0:25:570:26:01

'Her character is beginning to shine through.'

0:26:010:26:04

-I can't believe how much more lively she is.

-She is.

0:26:040:26:08

You're very strong, dragging me around.

0:26:080:26:12

'Sean is happy that Babe is well on the way to recovery.'

0:26:120:26:17

Right, are we taking you to your new home? They're going to love you!

0:26:170:26:22

'She's discharged from hospital to continue her journey to health.'

0:26:240:26:29

A week ago, I was really upset

0:26:290:26:32

by the state of her condition.

0:26:320:26:34

It's awful seeing any dog skinny.

0:26:340:26:39

I think it's more emphasised

0:26:390:26:41

when it's a large breed such as a Great Dane.

0:26:410:26:45

They've dropped a lot more weight.

0:26:450:26:47

In a week, she's put on six kilos.

0:26:470:26:50

I feel happy that we've got her and we're helping her.

0:26:500:26:54

'Across town is the Oldham RSPCA centre,

0:26:570:27:01

'Babe's new temporary home.

0:27:010:27:05

'In charge of her care here is Luke Johnson.'

0:27:050:27:09

-She's very skinny. She needs fattening up, Luke.

-OK.

0:27:090:27:13

-She seems lovely.

-She's so nice tempered.

0:27:130:27:16

-Hi, darling!

-She sits down for biscuits!

0:27:160:27:21

-Oh, right.

-She does sit when she wants to.

0:27:210:27:24

-Do you want to go through to kennels?

-Come on, sweetie pie.

0:27:240:27:29

'It's been a traumatic week for Babe.

0:27:290:27:33

'She's clearly still quite distressed.'

0:27:330:27:36

-She'll be safe and warm.

-She will.

0:27:360:27:39

-She'll have a nice comfy bed.

-Brilliant.

0:27:390:27:43

'She's in the best place to build her strength up.

0:27:430:27:46

'Staff will work round the clock to help her build confidence, too.'

0:27:460:27:52

'Still to come, Babe's fighting fit,

0:27:560:27:59

'but satisfying her hunger is a different challenge entirely.'

0:27:590:28:04

She steals food. She empties bins.

0:28:040:28:07

She jumps over the gate to the shop to get herself bones.

0:28:070:28:11

She's just doing anything she can to get food.

0:28:110:28:16

Now, back to North Yorkshire, where I went on the road with the police.

0:28:190:28:23

It was part of Operation Jumbo,

0:28:230:28:26

set up to crack down on crimes like badger baiting and poaching.

0:28:260:28:30

I was in for a dramatic night.

0:28:300:28:33

'Tonight, the North Yorkshire Police are out in force.'

0:28:420:28:46

Yeah, what's your location?

0:28:460:28:49

'PC Kevin Kelly and his team are getting tough on wildlife crime.

0:28:490:28:54

'He knows they're up against some very organised criminals.'

0:28:540:28:59

They'll have everything with them - the dogs, the guns, the lamps.

0:28:590:29:04

They'll go out across fields.

0:29:040:29:07

-They drive with lights out and go for anything.

-Why?

0:29:070:29:10

-What do they want with these animals?

-It's a strange one, really.

0:29:100:29:16

It's their kind of sport.

0:29:160:29:19

We do what we do sport-wise, but this is what they do as their social time.

0:29:190:29:26

They're genuinely nasty people that do it.

0:29:260:29:30

'One of the major problems is badger baiting,

0:29:300:29:33

'in which owners set their dogs to attack badgers.

0:29:330:29:37

'It's a gruesome and barbaric blood sport.'

0:29:370:29:40

Because the badgers are so tough, they'll maim it.

0:29:400:29:44

It's common to hit round the head with spades.

0:29:440:29:48

I've heard of teeth pulled out so they can't lock on to the dogs.

0:29:480:29:53

You've got to ask yourself, somebody willing to do this...

0:29:530:29:56

The badgers are persecuted and the way they do it, it's unspeakable.

0:29:560:30:02

Operation Jumbo, PC Kelly speaking.

0:30:040:30:07

'Operation Jumbo involves the local community

0:30:070:30:10

'who phone in to report suspicious behaviour.'

0:30:100:30:14

We've got an incident reported on the mobile phone for the operation.

0:30:160:30:21

A female in a property by herself. There's somebody on her land.

0:30:210:30:26

She can see the lamps.

0:30:260:30:28

'And the calls keep coming in.'

0:30:290:30:31

Two reports from two separate witnesses on the same incident.

0:30:310:30:36

So you could say the trail's pretty hot at the moment.

0:30:360:30:40

'This incident turns out to be a false alarm,

0:30:420:30:45

'just a man with a lamp walking his dog.

0:30:450:30:49

'Further down the road, we come across some tyre marks

0:30:490:30:53

'in a field where Kevin has had problems before.'

0:30:530:30:57

What draws your attention here?

0:30:570:30:59

Farmers have to access their fields, but you see vehicles have been on.

0:30:590:31:04

This is a favourite. They can get in at this field easily.

0:31:040:31:08

What did you find in this field?

0:31:080:31:11

A week ago, there were two badgers, the worst that I have seen.

0:31:110:31:15

They've been torn to pieces by dogs and the people who have done it

0:31:150:31:20

placed them in clear plastic bags and left them for people to see.

0:31:200:31:24

We should go on.

0:31:240:31:26

'It's half past ten and the hotline is ringing again.'

0:31:260:31:31

They've seen a vehicle off the road.

0:31:320:31:35

There's lights in a field, moving about.

0:31:350:31:38

I'm just going to shout it up to the rest of our units in the area.

0:31:380:31:44

'Traffic officers have pulled over a 4x4 that's been seen off-road

0:31:500:31:56

'on private land.

0:31:560:31:59

'Kevin wants to know why it's here.'

0:31:590:32:02

Traffic officers have stopped a vehicle.

0:32:030:32:08

They've got dogs, some lurchers in the vehicle.

0:32:080:32:12

They're saying they've got permission to be on land but they could still commit offences.

0:32:120:32:19

'If these men have permission to hunt on this land, they may not have been breaking the law.'

0:32:190:32:26

It's Kevin Kelly from the police.

0:32:260:32:28

'Kevin needs to check if their stories add up.'

0:32:280:32:33

-What can you see, Richard?

-Three lurcher type dogs.

0:32:330:32:36

Generally connected with hare coursing.

0:32:360:32:41

Camouflage stuff, type of vehicle, it matches what we're looking for.

0:32:410:32:46

'It seems the men do have permission so Kevin sends them on their way.'

0:32:460:32:51

All right.

0:32:510:32:52

'Back on the road, everything's quiet for a while,

0:32:520:32:56

'then Kevin sees a tell-tale light.'

0:32:560:33:00

I noticed out the corner of my eye, a lamp.

0:33:000:33:03

It goes as quick as it comes. You see it scan across the top.

0:33:030:33:08

'These could be "lampers" who locate an animal with a beam before shooting it or releasing dogs.

0:33:080:33:14

'So we pull over and make sure nobody can see us.'

0:33:170:33:20

We'll turn lights out and go quiet and we'll see what comes.

0:33:200:33:26

'It's not long before the lights become visible for us all to see.

0:33:290:33:34

'It's clear there are people out there.'

0:33:340:33:38

1072 Jumbo unit. We've got some activity in entrance to quarry.

0:33:380:33:42

They've got green lights and a lamper's light.

0:33:420:33:46

We've got to stay dark, so I'm using a light from this mobile phone.

0:33:460:33:50

The officers are convinced it's a team of lampers.

0:33:500:33:54

The police are trying to assemble a team to surround them.

0:33:540:33:59

'The lights are too far to go on foot and there's no way to drive.'

0:33:590:34:03

They're walking towards the railway track.

0:34:030:34:06

'The police don't want to scare the suspects away so they pull off

0:34:060:34:11

'with their headlights off.

0:34:110:34:14

'The other cars are surrounding the area so we head off-road.'

0:34:140:34:19

1072 units. We've got a possible contact. Stand by.

0:34:200:34:24

'We're following fresh tracks in this field.

0:34:240:34:28

'Somebody else has been driving through it.'

0:34:280:34:32

We've got a contact.

0:34:320:34:34

'This 4x4 looks familiar.'

0:34:340:34:37

It's the same guys.

0:34:390:34:40

These guys we've been chasing are the guys we pulled over earlier.

0:34:400:34:46

They said they had permission from the farmer but I don't think this is the right farm.

0:34:460:34:52

Kevin wants to know if it's their lamps.

0:34:520:34:55

Have you got a green lamp? How many lamps have you got with you?

0:34:550:35:00

'They're still claiming permission.

0:35:000:35:02

'Kevin takes their details and will follow up later with local farmers.

0:35:020:35:08

'For now, there's another call for us to investigate,

0:35:080:35:12

'and this one seems urgent.'

0:35:120:35:15

We've got a vehicle that's actually rammed a police vehicle,

0:35:150:35:20

and we've got runner from it.

0:35:200:35:23

This is the lengths people go to to get away from us!

0:35:230:35:27

'Officers know this car. It was involved in a chase on last night's patrol, but got away.'

0:35:270:35:34

This is the one from last night.

0:35:340:35:37

'After ramming a police car tonight, the suspects deserted this Subaru

0:35:370:35:42

'and ran off across the open fields.'

0:35:420:35:45

Good shout, mate. Well done.

0:35:450:35:47

'This raises Kevin's suspicions that they've been breaking the law.

0:35:470:35:52

'A look inside backs up these initial impressions.'

0:35:520:35:57

See the lamps in the rear foot well?

0:35:570:36:00

You can see where they're wired up, adapted to a cigarette lighter.

0:36:000:36:06

-As far as you're concerned...

-This is the poacher's chariot.

0:36:060:36:10

The lamps they've been shining out the back window to police officers.

0:36:100:36:15

Was this the vehicle you chased and they shone the lamps...?

0:36:150:36:19

And it's done the exact same tricks again. So, dangerous people.

0:36:190:36:25

'The police helicopter is out searching for the suspects.

0:36:250:36:30

'The car will be seized and taken back to the station.

0:36:300:36:34

'It's the early hours of the morning and the shift has come to an end.

0:36:400:36:45

'For me, it's proved how prolific rural crime is,

0:36:450:36:48

'and how seriously the police are taking it.'

0:36:480:36:52

Four weeks ago, it was almost impossible to tell that Babe was a Great Dane,

0:36:590:37:05

weighing less than half her ideal weight.

0:37:050:37:08

Staff at the RSPCA animal home fought to keep her alive.

0:37:080:37:12

Now, remarkably, this once-starving dog is making an amazing recovery.

0:37:120:37:18

'This is the RSPCA's animal home in Oldham.

0:37:240:37:27

'Babe has been living here for almost a month.

0:37:270:37:32

'The improvement is amazing.

0:37:320:37:35

'She's put on 16 kilos since she was rescued.'

0:37:350:37:39

What have we got, Babe? What have we got?

0:37:390:37:42

'She's become a favourite around the centre.'

0:37:420:37:45

We decided to have her with us. We've been cooking for her.

0:37:450:37:49

She has potatoes, pasta, mashed potato, chicken.

0:37:490:37:55

Lots of home-cooked food every two hours. Beef, ham.

0:37:550:38:00

She's grown to love us all.

0:38:000:38:02

She greets us all in the morning,

0:38:020:38:05

gets on the bed with the people who are sleeping overnight.

0:38:050:38:11

She's become part of the animal centre.

0:38:110:38:15

'Despite the regular treats, Babe's still ravenous.

0:38:150:38:19

'The home-cooking hasn't been enough to satisfy her hunger.'

0:38:190:38:24

When she came, she was quiet, didn't have the energy to get out of bed.

0:38:240:38:29

Now we've had to put baby gates up.

0:38:290:38:32

She steals food. She empties bins.

0:38:320:38:37

She jumps over the gate to the shop and gets herself some bones.

0:38:370:38:42

She's doing anything she can to get food. She's a greedy girl!

0:38:420:38:47

'And Babe's scavenging hasn't stopped there.

0:38:470:38:51

'This once lifeless dog has even learned to open the fridge.'

0:38:510:38:55

We thought we had someone in who was eating the staff lunches.

0:38:550:39:01

Then we found out it was Babe!

0:39:010:39:03

She even took an onion out of the fridge

0:39:030:39:06

and was sat there trying to eat a full onion.

0:39:060:39:10

She took somebody's Cup-a-Soup.

0:39:100:39:14

'With height on her side, no food is safe from this greedy Great Dane.

0:39:140:39:20

'Babe's lovely nature and character are really shining through.

0:39:230:39:27

'She's making new friends wherever she goes.'

0:39:270:39:31

Thank you.

0:39:310:39:33

'But, as much as she is loved, Babe can't stay here for ever.

0:39:350:39:40

'In a few weeks, she'll be put up for rehoming,

0:39:400:39:44

'where she can continue this amazing recovery.'

0:39:440:39:47

We're going to miss her when she goes.

0:39:470:39:50

She's a people dog - loves people.

0:39:500:39:53

Needs lots of cuddles, don't you?

0:39:530:39:55

'Four weeks later,

0:40:000:40:03

'and a few miles from the animal centre is Stalybridge, Babe's home.

0:40:030:40:08

'She's now living with the Davis family, who have renamed her Tia.'

0:40:130:40:19

She's a thief. We're all starving. She's well-fed.

0:40:190:40:24

She takes everybody's food out their hands,

0:40:240:40:27

which is just pure greed, definitely.

0:40:270:40:30

There's no limits to what she'll eat, even down to curry.

0:40:300:40:35

'After piling on the pounds, she weighs seven and a half stone.

0:40:350:40:40

'Her love of food is showing no signs of abating.'

0:40:400:40:44

She'd been starved.

0:40:440:40:47

It's obvious from the pictures when we first saw her.

0:40:470:40:51

She's trying to make the most of everything that she can get.

0:40:510:40:57

Obviously, her height is a bonus to her.

0:40:570:41:01

She's in reaching range of everything.

0:41:010:41:05

Luckily, she's not found our fridge yet.

0:41:050:41:08

When that day comes, we will be getting a fridge lock.

0:41:080:41:13

'Just two months ago, this dog was so skinny she struggled to stand.

0:41:130:41:18

'Everyone was concerned she might not be strong enough to survive.'

0:41:180:41:24

Go on, then!

0:41:240:41:26

'But she's defied the odds and is living life to the full.'

0:41:260:41:30

I don't think she had the energy before to do this.

0:41:300:41:34

She was easy to walk then,

0:41:340:41:37

but I can't really control her much any more!

0:41:370:41:41

Sit!

0:41:410:41:42

'The improvement in this dog's health and temperament

0:41:420:41:46

'has stunned everyone.

0:41:460:41:49

'Tia now looks much more like a Great Dane should

0:41:490:41:53

'and has the strength to match.'

0:41:530:41:57

If you know of a wildlife crime or a creature that needs protection,

0:42:010:42:07

there are dedicated professionals out there right around the clock.

0:42:070:42:12

They are the people we meet on Animal 24:7.

0:42:120:42:16

'Next time on Animal 24:7, a sickening act of animal cruelty.'

0:42:190:42:24

The amount of pain that must have had associated with it

0:42:240:42:29

is absolutely horrendous.

0:42:290:42:32

'Rescue for the family of cats living in an Aladdin's cave.'

0:42:320:42:36

These cats, some of them have got cat flu and that ain't good enough.

0:42:360:42:41

I didn't know they had cat flu.

0:42:410:42:44

'And how will this posse of badgers settle into their new home?'

0:42:440:42:49

There are now three badgers. One's joined in here.

0:42:490:42:53

They're engaging in a bit of home improvement.

0:42:530:42:57

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:190:43:23

Series following people dedicated to rescuing Britain's wildlife and pets.

This episode features the story of Babe, the emaciated Great Dane. Presenter Tom Heap is involved in high speed pursuits as he joins the police cracking down on badger baiting; and there's a happy ending for a cat stuck up a tree.


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