The RSPCA is investigating after a tiny puppy was found dumped in a bag with cropped ears and a broken neck. Council workers made the grisly discovery in Gravesend, Kent, on Friday morning (29 January) and took the puppy’s body to a local vet who contacted the RSPCA.

Animal rescue officer Brian Milligan was sent to investigate. He said: “The pup’s body was found wrapped up in a very distinctive pink M&S Percy Pig bag for life (pictured), wrapped in sellotape and left on top of bins in Valley Drive on Friday morning.

“Council workers who found the little pup – a male grey, tan and white American bully type, thought to be around 10-weeks-old – took him to a local vet who alerted us.

“Vets examined the body and found his neck had been broken. The puppy also had blood around his mouth and infected cropped ears.”

Officers are now investigating the suspicious death of the puppy – who was microchipped but the chip wasn’t registered – and are appealing to the public for information.

Brian added: “This poor pup has died in extremely suspicious circumstances and I’m keen to find out where he’s come from and who is responsible. I’d urge anyone with information to contact our emergency hotline on 0300 123 8018.

“We believe the puppy’s neck may have been broken deliberately which is absolutely abhorrent. But the question remains as to why?

“One theory is that he’d fallen ill as a result of the barbaric cropping of his ears. Perhaps he lost a lot of blood or the infection in the wounds had made him poorly and the breeders felt it would be too expensive – and would raise too many questions – to seek veterinary advice?

[bctt tweet=”Vets don’t believe the cropping has been carried out by someone who knows what they’re doing so it looks like a do-it-yourself job as the wounds also hadn’t been stitched up.” via=”no”]

Ear cropping is illegal in England and Wales, under Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It is a painful process in which a dogs’ ears are removed or surgically altered. It doesn’t benefit the dog in any way and can be seriously detrimental to their health, behaviour and long-term welfare.

However, the practice is still legal in other parts of the world, such as the USA and some European countries, and there’s a fear that more and more dogs are being sent abroad for cropping, or being purchased and imported from overseas.

RSPCA dog welfare expert, Dr Samantha Gaines, said: “Sadly we’re seeing more and more dogs of certain breeds and types – such as American bullies like this little puppy – having their ears cruelly cropped. Pups with cropped ears can sell for sky-high prices and we’re incredibly concerned that their popularity is prompting a resurgence in cropped dogs and may be normalising and glamorising this wholly unnatural look.

“Dogs should never be mutilated for cosmetic purposes and, while this practice has been illegal in this country for a long, long time, we’d like to see regulations introduced to ban the importation of cropped dogs into the UK* as well a crackdown against those who are carrying out this barbaric practice here in England.

“The RSPCA will look into reports of ear cropping and we’re seeing increasing reports of the practice made to us. If you suspect someone is cropping dogs’ ears please call our emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999.”

Brain added: “I want to know what happened to this puppy but I’m also extremely worried about his littermates. There could be more pup’s with infected cropped ears who are getting sicker and sicker who need urgent veterinary attention.

“So I’d implore anyone who has bought a similar dog in this area recently or who knows where this puppy may have come from to call us as soon as possible.”

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