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Britain's animals are under threat.
All too often our wildlife and domestic pets
are the victims of cruelty, persecution and neglect.
Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people,
trying to protect and care for them right around the clock.
This is Animal 24:7.
Today on Animal 24:7...
A pit bull. You know they're banned?
Used and abused,
the dogs being kept as a show of strength.
Dogs are being acquired to look good on the end of a lead, and not necessarily as pets.
Treating the casualties in animal A&E.
When they purr inappropriately it's because they're in extreme pain.
He's rather stressed, so I'll take him through straight away.
And I come under attack as I help protect the puffins.
You've got the mad spiky arctic terns that want to peck your head,
and then the cool and easy puffins in the background.
Over the past few years there's been a huge rise in the number of so-called status dogs.
They're often bought for show or protection, but who's there to protect the dogs themselves?
Sometimes the welfare of these animals gives the RSPCA real cause for concern.
Inner-city Birmingham. An area that has seen
a huge rise in the number of powerful dogs being kept as status symbols.
These animals are often seen as a must-have accessory,
not a pet. Their needs are often ignored.
Inspector Jayne Bashford is following up the most recent complaint.
I had a call about a dog, a boxer-type dog that's meant to be at this address.
It's meant to be quite thin,
and the caller is also concerned that it's being kept in an under-stairs cupboard
in dirty conditions with its own faeces around.
We need to have a look at it and see what the situation is.
Jayne believes this is a status dog.
SHE KNOCKS ON DOOR
Hi there, sir, you all right?
I'm from the RSPCA and I just need to speak to you. Have you got a dog?
Boxer-type dog? What sort of dog have you got?
-A pit bull.
-Not a boxer.
A pit bull. You know they're banned?
This response raises the stakes.
Pit bulls are illegal unless the owner has a licence.
Can I have a look where he's living, is that all right?
They can also be dangerous.
What's his temperament like?
The owners admit the dog, Benson, is unpredictable.
You'd better get him on a lead for me, because if he bites me that's a whole other issue.
And he's shut away in a tiny cupboard.
Is it locked, is it?
Once the door is opened, Jayne is appalled by what she sees.
Benson is living in his own mess.
The only place he has to sleep is a filthy bed, and there's no food or water.
Right. You do not have to say anything,
but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned
something which you later rely on in court.
That dog is unacceptably thin,
and it's being kept locked in an under-stairs cupboard.
The owners also tell Jayne they bought Benson for protection.
He's not going to be much of a guard dog locked under the stairs.
But he's in urgent need of help himself.
Jayne wants to get him to a vet.
Shall we pop him in the van? Is that all right?
And as they emerge from the house, the dog owner seems more concerned
about who reported him than the condition of his dog.
Benson is underweight.
He may also be a banned breed.
This is a very serious case.
Before you start shouting to all the neighbours about you being grassed up about not feeding the dog,
there are other issues about the way that dog's being kept.
-I know that.
-So let's just get a little bit of perspective.
Benson has been shut under the stairs for more than 12 hours.
Jayne spells out why this can't be allowed to continue.
You or your partner have locked that dog
in that cupboard from 11pm last night until 12 noon today.
That dog smells so strongly of urine, all the white fur on him has turned yellow.
Jayne could use police powers to seize Benson.
I'm not here to give you grief. I'm here to protect that animal.
-But she manages to persuade the owners to sign him over.
This is an animal acceptance agreement form.
This means that you are now signing all ownership and responsibility for that dog over to me.
Jayne's glad to have got Benson out, but the family may well hear from her again.
Having seen him I've obviously cautioned him, I've cautioned both of the people in the property.
Looking at the condition of that cupboard and the condition of the dog,
I would suggest that dog has been in there for some considerable amount of time.
Benson will need to be checked by an expert to decide whether he is in fact a pit bull.
But for now, the priority is his health.
Good boy. Good boy. Good boy.
Vet Steve Adelle immediately realises this dog is malnourished.
He is 5 kilograms underweight,
which doesn't sound a lot, but as a percentage of his body weight that's quite a significant amount.
Shall we have a look at him, shall we?
Status dogs are feared because of their aggression and power.
Have we got a muzzle at all, Steve?
Benson is becoming agitated. Jayne and Steve must proceed with caution.
These muzzles often look worse than they are, but it's for his safety as well as ours.
But the muzzle provokes an extreme reaction.
Good boy. Good boy. He's trying to get it off.
Jayne tries to restrain him.
I'm going to have to let him go.
But is quickly overpowered.
Behave, behave, behave. Good boy.
Benson's behaviour clearly demonstrates his brute force.
It could mean he'll be difficult for anyone to control.
This dog probably doesn't get as much fuss, love, TLC,
as what we would expect from a normal family pet.
After taking some blood, Benson is given a much-needed meal.
What have we got here?
The focus now shifts to the conditions in which he was being kept,
evidence stored on Jayne's camera.
That is his general living condition. This is a chocolate tin which was completely empty and dry.
-No water in there?
-No water in there. There was no food present.
You've got the evidence of old takeaway foil cartons.
-Which tends to suggest it's not having the best and most appropriate diet for a dog.
-Not at all.
Both agree this is a clear case of neglect.
We're building up a picture here with this dog,
not necessarily of one particular problem,
but a whole pattern of general sort of neglect in the case
that he's not been fed very well, he's not been kept in a good environment.
He's not getting much interaction with people,
so we've built up a whole picture of this dog's existence,
which, at this stage, it appears that he's not being kept appropriately at all.
A few weeks later Benson was assessed and deemed to be a pit-bull type.
He joins the growing list of dangerous dogs being abused
which are only discovered through tip-offs.
The law states that a pit bull can never be re-homed.
Sadly, Benson had to be put to sleep.
Coming up, Jayne's patrol continues.
I question how that dog's come about those wounds.
Especially considering you've got it from Alum Rock.
You know Alum Rock is where all the dog fights take place?
And the cute birds that pack a punch.
The bill is vicious enough, but the claws are very sharp.
For many owners, their pets are very much part of the family,
so when they fall ill or become seriously injured it can be very distressing.
Across the country there are animal hospitals equipped to do emergency procedures right around the clock.
The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, or PDSA,
is a charity which provides veterinary care for owners on low incomes.
Bow, East London.
This is the PDSA Animal Hospital.
Day and night, pets and their owners arrive here with all manner of medical problems.
Just take a seat, and the nurse will call you through. Thank you.
An army of skilled vets and nurses is on hand to give them treatment.
Some are routine procedures, others are in a critical condition...
..like the latest casualty on the cat ward.
Last night, Sam was brought in by his owner after being hit by a car.
He has a suspected broken jaw, but it's his eye that's causing most concern.
Geraldine Coles must now decide if Sam is stable enough to undergo vital surgery.
He's obviously had painkillers straight away.
He's been put on IV fluids for shock and given antibiotics.
We know he's got a jaw problem, he can't close his mouth properly.
And you can see that he's got an eye problem, he's probably going to be losing that eye.
I'm looking at his breathing, it's quite laboured.
Sam is an elderly cat, and he's extremely distressed.
He's actually purring, which is not a good sign.
When they purr what I call inappropriately, it's because they are in extreme pain.
He's stressed, so I'll take him through straight away.
This cat desperately needs an operation.
But first, tests are needed on his heart and lungs.
If they are damaged, Sam may not be strong enough to survive the surgery.
Right, well, the monitor shows that his oxygenation is good
and his chest is looking good, considering the injury that he's had.
It's a positive sign, and now the X-ray results are back.
He's obviously been gasping for air,
which is why his stomach's full of gas.
And he's got a huge bladder here, so we'll empty that for him.
But other than that, it looks OK.
So that means we can now get on to surgery.
Sam is rushed through for his life-saving operation.
Surgeon Peter Fox is to completely remove his left eye and fix his jaw.
So hopefully, Sam, after his surgery,
will make a full recovery. Apart from being a character cat with one eye.
Vets here see five cats every week that have been hit by cars,
but this is a particularly delicate job and Sam is an elderly cat.
Finally, the eye is removed, but Sam's not in the clear yet.
Peter must now begin to tackle his shattered jaw.
The PDSA in Bow treats around 190 patients a day.
And some are not that keen to see the vet.
German shepherd Roxy could be the latest.
Her owners, Carol and Linda Wainwright, know she's in pain and it's getting worse.
She snapped one of her back claws in half but on the way here, it fell off.
It has split, so we've still got to see the nurse.
Roxy Wainwright, please.
Roxy is booked in to see senior vet Elaine Pendlebury.
Treating the injury will be painful.
When dogs are in pain, there's a real chance they can turn nasty.
Before Elaine begins her examination, Roxy's owner muzzles her dog.
What exactly happened, do we know?
We don't know. My daughter said this morning she was licking it.
And when I looked, it's snapped in half.
Right. OK. Let's have a look. What we... Oh dear.
Probably caught it in a bit of carpet or something like that.
Usually, it gets caught in something.
Dogs' claws are made of keratin, similar to human nails,
but they have a sensitive nerve called the quick, running through the middle of each one.
Exposing the quick is what causes the pain.
DOG BARKS AND GROWLS
Elaine works quickly to treat Roxy, as her owners try to restrain her.
DOG WHIMPERS THEN BARKS
Her foot is cleaned and dressed to prevent infection
and Elaine is happy that Roxy's claw will soon grow back.
-We'll give you some antibiotics, then I'd like to see you back on Monday, please. OK?
-Can she get down?
Yes, get down now. Brilliant.
Roxy's now free to go home,
complete with her rather fetching new pink sock.
For Sam, the elderly cat, his ordeal is far from over.
With his eye successfully removed, surgeon Peter is working on wiring his shattered jaw.
Sam is 14, but despite his age, the team here is determined to do everything they can.
We don't put any limit on surgical time.
If it's fixable, we will always try and fix it.
So hopefully, he's going to do.
But anaesthetic is risky with any animal.
With an older cat, the risks are huge and Sam is now extremely weak.
Animals lose heat under anaesthetic.
So we're just going to check his temperature.
In the meantime, he's got some little warming bags to keep him warm
and help him come round.
Because he's a little bit gurgly up here, I'm going to get somebody
in kennels to stay with him until he's fully round,
to make sure that he doesn't choke on anything.
Vicky, would you be able to stay with Sam?
After a traumatic accident, and extensive surgery, Sam has been through a lot.
The operation has been a success, but the next few hours are going to be crucial.
Later, how eating a juicy bone has left Missy's life in danger...
There's lots of little bits, but they're just all rattling around in the stomach.
That's what's causing all the problems.
And what really lies behind this garage door...
The gentleman that lives here was seen to go into the garage with a stick and then the dog fell quiet.
Further ground really, for me to want to see what's in that shed.
Northumberland is home to some of the most fantastic wildlife in Britain.
But even here, some species are facing real challenges.
I'm heading off to the Farne Islands,
to meet some researchers using some new hi-tech science
to understand the puzzle of what's happening to one of our favourite seabirds.
The bird I'm talking about is the beautiful and much loved puffin.
They were once a major success story here,
but now there's trouble in this colourful Northumbrian paradise.
I've travelled over to the island to find out what's going on.
I'm met by head warden David Steel.
They're so cool, sitting there watching us. They're very chilled kind of birds.
Very chilled. Very relaxed.
I can see puffins all around us here, but how are they doing over all on the Farne Islands?
We had a big crash in the population,
we lost nearly 30 per cent of our puffins.
We dropped from 55,500 pairs to just over 36,000 pairs.
A real mystery plummet in the numbers?
-And how important is it to you to see a thriving colony of puffins here?
Well, it's really vital, a real indicator for the Farnes,
because if the puffins are doing well, all the other sea birds are doing well.
Scientists have now begun to look more closely at the puffins' behaviour.
And David's going to take me to someone who is using the latest technology to track them.
But he's not an easy man to get to.
-You've got to use a hat now, just to protect your head.
-Not from these guys?
Not from these guys, from a bird called an arctic tern. Follow me.
There are hundreds of pairs of arctic terns on the islands,
and they're not too keen on the attention.
Pretty soon, we're under attack.
I love the variety in the sea birds here.
You've got these mad, spiky, arctic terns that want to peck your head.
And then the cool and easy puffins in the background.
One theory surrounding the decline is that the sand eel, the puffin's favourite food, is dwindling.
Zoologist Richard Bevan is now tagging the birds with GPS devices,
to track where and how they're feeding.
When they're at sea is when they're gathering their food.
And if we don't know where they're going
to get their food, then there is no way that we can actually ascertain how well their food source is doing.
And the key tool you're using are these electronic tags
that keep an eye on where they are?
Yes. Absolutely. That's a GPS logging tag.
'But to tag them, you have to catch them. And that's no easy task.
'Puffins don't build nests, but, like rabbits, dig burrows in the ground.'
Wow. So these are all puffin burrows?
These are all the puffin burrows. Rather a densely packed colony.
'We're looking for a mum with a chick,
'so we can tag the adult and check the baby over.
'And it's here that Richard really has to chance his arm.'
You need long arms for this business!
You need an extremely long arm!
This is longer than my arm.
-Nothing in that one? Or possibly just too deep?
-There is but it is far too far down.
'Maybe we'll have more luck next door.'
-A real lucky dip this, isn't it?
This time, Richard gets lucky, and the skill now is making sure he doesn't get pecked.
The bill's vicious enough, but the claws are very sharp.
-So, do you want to pop that in there?
Keep my fingers away.
There we go.
'Now, it's my turn to risk my right arm.'
All right, buddy.
'Thankfully, though, I grab a chick which is easier to handle.'
The tag has been programmed to record
a GPS position to its memory every 30 seconds.
When the bird returns to the burrow we can recapture it, remove the tag and then download the data.
'The tag's stuck on with a glue which only lasts for seven days.
'If they're not caught before then, the tag falls off naturally
'to ensure there's no long-term effects for the puffin.'
The bird's putting up a bit of a fuss now.
He's got to wait until the glue goes off because what you don't want is an animal covered in unhardened glue.
'Only the adult is tagged but various measurements are taken of both...'
'..before they're both returned to their burrow.
'I put the chick back exactly where I found it.'
Go on, go.
'The mum can't resist a little peck before saying goodbye.'
There we go.
The story of our puffins' adventures will be ready within a week
but the information from previously tracked birds
is starting to come in to Richard's research base on the island, with some interesting results.
This is brilliant, so this red line is an actual route of where the puffin flew and probably swam?
Absolutely. We can follow where the bird has gone.
Instead of being a relatively straight line, it's a lot more
convoluted and that's suggesting that they're spending time in one place.
-This might be where they're picking up a lot of sand eels.
-This could be where they're fishing.
All these results will be collated to help build up a picture
of why the population is dwindling.
For me though, it's time to leave this magnificent wildlife haven.
Puffins and man have been living alongside each other on the Farne Islands for centuries
but now, thanks to this hi-tech gadgetry,
mankind could really help those little birds
by unlocking the secrets of their sea voyages that could help their population to thrive.
Coming up - more risky surgery for Sam, the cat hit by a car.
If he's 14 years old, then his kidneys are on a bit of a knife edge
so it's really worrying for the poor little thing.
In Birmingham, RSPCA inspector Jayne Bashford is on the trail of a number of so-called status dogs,
whose condition is giving her cause for concern.
Now she's continuing her patrol of the city.
In a back yard at the bottom of this alleyway,
there's a report that a powerful dog needs help.
This is Blade and it's the state of his skin
that's causing alarm bells to ring within the neighbourhood.
-Inspector Jayne Bashford wants to speak to Blade's owner, Nadim Hussein.
-Do you own this dog?
-What sort of dog is it?
It's a Staff crossed with a mastiff.
-Can you get him on a lead?
-I can get the lead.
Is it all right if I just get changed?
Yes, do you want to throw a jumper on and get the lead?
I need to find out how those sores have been caused.
It could be a number of things really.
I have got concerns about that dog.
Blade is a Staffordshire bull terrier and bull mastiff cross.
Neither breed are banned but they're both powerful.
Is he on the lead?
In the wrong hands, they can be aggressive.
Jayne needs to make sure this dog is fully under control.
Have you got him?
That's it, take him a little bit further back.
I don't doubt he's a very friendly dog but...
Nadim tells Jayne he's only had this dog for a month.
-Had he got these wounds when you got him?
He explains he's taken him for treatment.
So you took the dog to the vet?
What did the vet say that was?
-He said it was a burn or something like that.
I'm very concerned about how that dog's got those areas of scarring.
-That's why I was concerned myself.
-It's not good.
Jayne wants to investigate Blade's wounds further by finding out where he came from.
Which part of Birmingham?
This answer opens up a potentially more sinister explanation.
Nadim tells Jayne the dog is from Alum Rock, an area notorious for holding illegal dog fights.
The people you bought it from,
-did they say it had been in a dog fight?
-No, they didn't say nothing like that.
You know Alum Rock is where all the dog fights take place?
-You know that?
-Yeah, I know that.
I question how that dog's come about those wounds, especially considering you've got it from Alum Rock.
That's what I want to know myself.
There's no suggestion that Nadim has caused these wounds
but as well as the old scars on his back, Jayne is concerned about the way the dog is being kept.
It's cold, isn't it? Cold weather.
-That mat there, in the shed? He's lying on that.
-It's not good enough.
He's a short-coated dog.
He's going to feel the cold and the law states that you must provide
any animals that you're responsible for with clean, fresh, dry bedding.
Jayne doesn't know what has caused Blade's scars in the past
but she wants to make sure he's cared for in the future.
I'm going to leave you an advice notice.
Jayne believes Nadim cares for his dog but needs advice and this is one job she's not going to give up on.
I think that dog's been involved in something in the past.
I'll never be able to prove it.
The main thing now is that the dog is healing.
I've asked him to take it to the vets.
He's claiming it's registered and he can go.
I'd like him to get it checked over and this call is in my area so I'll keep my eye on it.
Issues around the treatment of large dogs
are taking up an increasing amount of the RSPCA's time.
Back on her beat, Jayne's on the trail of another powerful dog.
The report suggests this one is being kept in a back yard and is severely underweight.
Jayne can't see anything through the fence.
And then there's a development.
Sorry, just one minute.
Jayne hears barking coming from the garage next to the yard.
There's definitely a dog inside the garage, I've heard him scratching, so I want to find out what's going on.
And it's not just this dog's weight which is of concern.
There are also allegations that it's been mistreated.
The gentleman that lives here was seen to go into the garage
where the dog is at the moment with a stick and then the dog fell quiet.
Further ground for me to want to see what's in that shed.
It may be nothing but I can't walk away from it
and leave it in good conscience, not knowing what's inside that garage.
Still to come...
They've come up with the expression "red-nose pit bull"
so obviously I'm now thinking Section One, Dangerous Dog.
She's meant to be quite friendly but...
Earlier in the programme we saw Sam the cat undergo major surgery
at the PDSA Hospital in London's East End.
In a moment we'll catch up with Sam but first, there's another animal that needs help.
At this East London hospital, morning surgery is in full flow.
For any owner, bringing in poorly pets for treatment is an anxious time.
But for Nicola Houston and her dog, Missy, it's going to be unbearable.
Hello, she looks a lovely dog.
These two have an incredibly strong bond but worryingly for Nicola,
Missy is now poorly after eating an old bone she found in the garden.
It was on the grass and she got away from me and by the time I got to her, she'd munched some of it.
If they have eaten anything,
-it must be quite painful really but she looks a bit sad at the moment.
-She knows I'm leaving her.
Left untreated, bones stuck in a dog's intestine can prove fatal.
Missy needs urgent assessment. It's time for these two to be parted.
It's an hour later and Missy has taken a turn for the worse.
She's started to vomit.
X-rays are quickly taken and surgeon Rachel Kilroy has the results.
I've got a view of the dog's abdomen here.
From the stomach in this section, we can see some little bits of bone.
We had hoped that they might move through
but they haven't and the dog is still vomiting so we are going to operate to remove them.
With Missy's condition worsening,
these fragments of bone need to be removed immediately.
I'm just going to cut into the abdomen and then examine all the intestines in turn,
looking for any blockages in the intestines, but also those bits
of bone you can see in the stomach, we'll be cutting into the stomach and removing those.
These bone chips are tiny.
There's a bit under your finger, isn't there?
Finding them is tricky and painstaking work.
Just lots and lots of little bits
but they're all rattling around in the stomach.
Rachel carefully recovers each individual bone fragment.
Finally, Missy's stomach can be stitched back up.
I'm quite pleased with how the surgery went.
The wound through the muscle there takes 10 days to heal.
But hopefully she should be eating in a couple of days.
Missy will now be left to recover.
In a few hours' time, she should be reunited with her owner.
Across on the cat ward, another patient has now recovered from his surgery.
Sam was badly injured after being hit by a car.
Yesterday he had emergency surgery to remove his eye and wire his jaw, but it's still not over.
Oh, hello, someone is gorgeous.
Sam's injuries have left him unable to feed.
If he can't eat, he can't recover.
Surgeon Richard Walker wants to give him every chance.
We're going to place a feeding tube for us
to give him his nourishment whilst his body goes about fixing it.
This tube will put food directly into Sam's stomach.
It'll help him build his strength up, but it's not without risk.
If he's 14 years old, then his kidneys are on a bit of a knife edge
and when we give him loads of drugs to induce anaesthesia,
we drop his blood pressure and reduce the oxygen to his kidneys.
If this anaesthetic goes on too long, he could have life-threatening danger to his kidneys.
Yes, it's quite worrying for the poor little thing.
Richard wants to limit the time Sam is under anaesthetic, so works quickly.
-Got that far to go.
Within a few minutes, the tube is inserted.
Two days ago, the odds were firmly stacked against Sam.
But this tough tabby has fought back.
He's survived being hit by a car and two major operations.
When he begins to come round, it's a great relief for the team.
We want him home as soon as we possibly can.
Sitting in a hospital is not a very nice experience for a cat.
And Sam did go home three days later, his nine lives not quite used up.
It's nearing the end of the day shift at the Bow Hospital,
the waiting room is empty but one owner still remains.
Nicola Houston has come back to pick up her dog, Missy.
I can't wait to see her.
It was five hours ago I brought her in and since then she's had surgery done and, touch wood, it's OK.
Touch wood, I'm hoping.
Being without Missy has been hard for Nicola.
Missy Houston's owner.
She's desperate to be reunited but first Elaine needs to explain how things went.
We took some X-rays and we saw some bony mass in there,
so we had to go in and do an operation to remove it.
We removed all of that and I'll show that to you, but she's doing very well.
Was she OK with the anaesthetic?
-Yes, she was fine.
-Can I see her, please?
I won't be a minute.
I know how anxious she was when I left her in that room.
The look on her face was like I'd abandoned her.
So I just want to see her wee face again, to let her know that she's not been dumped.
I need to get your collar.
She's doing very well, as you can see.
Finally, the two are back together.
Missy seems delighted to be enjoying some much needed cuddles.
The operation has been a huge success and now Nicola can take her much loved pet back home.
One of the big problems for the RSPCA is the plight
of so-called status dogs in some of Britain's inner cities.
They're often bought for protection or just to show off, but many owners
give little thought as to how the dogs themselves should be cared for.
Finally today, we're back in Birmingham where RSPCA inspector
Jayne Bashford has been giving some of these dogs top priority.
I've just seen it.
Locked in a garage with no-one around, Jayne is worried about the dog inside.
Neighbours on this estate have told Jayne the dog is called Bruno and he's painfully thin.
At the moment, just through the crack of the garage door, I can see him jumping up.
It's a tan-coloured dog but...
I'm unable really to see for certain.
There's a new concern. Jayne has been tipped off that Bruno is a pit bull, a breed on the banned list.
The police are now on the scene.
They've come up with the expression "red-nose pit bull", so I'm now thinking Section One, Dangerous Dog.
She's meant to be quite friendly, but...
The officers make their way into the garden.
Now it's time for the police dog handler to take over and it looks like the rumours may be true.
-I'd say it's a pit cross.
-It's very skinny.
It's very skinny, yeah.
With confirmation that this may indeed be a pit-bull type, the handler must proceed with caution.
Despite being shut away, Bruno is remarkably friendly.
Hello, you, hello, you.
But like so many status dogs, there's been little regard for his welfare.
Let's have a look at the conditions.
He's been forced to sleep inches away from a deadly cocktail of chemicals.
Obviously when you walk into this garage, there's quite a strong, chemical smell.
I was struck straight away by these barrels of corrosive materials
which are lying right next to the dog bed.
Although Bruno has been fortunate to escape
from this potential deathtrap, his future is far from certain.
On first glance of that dog, he does have a number of characteristics
which would suggest he is of a pit-bull type.
To keep a banned breed, an owner must prove they're responsible and obtain a licence.
The way Bruno has been kept is far from responsible.
We can take him in on Section One, Dangerous Dogs.
He'll be taken in and assessed to see if he scores high enough
on the pit-bull scale. I think he will.
Jayne only discovered this dangerous dog by chance.
Alarmingly, plenty of others out there living in better conditions go undetected.
Had he been kept in a decent environment and looked after as an animal should be,
the likelihood is he'd never have come to the RSPCA's or the police's attention.
Ultimately he needs to be assessed by an expert in the field
to find out exactly what sort of dog he is.
Unfortunately, if he's deemed to be a pit bull,
his fate is sealed, really.
Pit bulls cannot be re-homed.
Bruno may have to be put to sleep.
Two months later
and Jayne needs to make a return visit to Blade, the dog with the unsightly wounds on his back.
The last time Jayne was here,
Blade's owner told her that the dog had the injuries when he bought him.
Jayne believed he may have sustained them in a dog fight.
The people you bought it from, did they say it had been in a dog fight?
There was no suggestion that Blade's current owner had done
anything wrong, but Jayne is keen to see if the skin has improved.
Looking at them, it's as it was on our first visit, really. They're not infected
and they're not causing him any problems by the looks of it,
but it's just an unusual fur loss area on his body.
-Hiya, mate, do you remember me?
Jayne wants to see if the owner has provided any treatment.
-Tell me honestly, have you taken him to the vet?
In your name, or in somebody else's name?
-Your uncle's name.
The owner cannot prove that he's taken his dog to the vet.
Jayne gives him an ultimatum.
I'm going to give you 24 hours to call me back
with the details of this vet appointment that you've been on, all right?
The RSPCA regularly visits people new to owning dogs - often, they do need guidance.
Blade isn't in pain, but for Jayne it's clear she's going to have to continue working with his owner
to ensure the dog gets the care he needs.
Obviously for my peace of mind,
I'd just like to know that that dog has seen a vet
and that this skin problem is harmless
and won't cause any long-term problems for the dog.
Over the past couple of months,
Jayne has visited three powerful dogs whose welfare has caused concern.
Sadly, this is symptomatic of the plight of so many so-called status dogs.
The dogs are being acquired...
..to look good on the end of a lead
and not necessarily as pets.
They're not being...treated fully in the way
that you'd hope they would be treated.
If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime,
or a creature that needs immediate protection,
remember there are dedicated professionals out there
who will answer your call right around the clock.
They are the people we meet on Animal 24:7.
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