AROUND 100 dogs in the West Midlands are reported to have undergone a cruel and unnecessary procedure of having their ears cropped in the last three years, according to the RSPCA.
The animal welfare charity is releasing the figures as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign – to raise awareness about how to stop cruelty to animals for good – and to highlight the barbaric procedure which, in many cases, is carried out illegally in the UK solely for the aim of making the dog look ‘tough’.
The figures from the RSPCA shows that 93 reports of ear cropping have been made to the RSPCA since 2020 in the region and 1,191 reports across the UK.
The RSPCA say these figures are likely to be an under representation of the actual number of dogs who are having their ears cropped as not all cases are reported to the RSPCA, as some people may not realise that this isn’t a dog’s natural ear shape or that it is an illegal procedure in this country.
Ian Muttitt, chief inspector in the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit – which investigates ear cropping – said the team have seen “horrific” DIY ear cropping kits at homes of people who carry out the cruel practice.
He said: “The idea of a person cutting off a dog’s ears with a pair of scissors and no pain relief or anaesthetic is stomach-churning – but that is exactly what they do. And it is even more sickening to know that they are only doing this because they think it will make the dog look ‘tough’ or they can sell the dog for more money.
“We have seen dogs who have suffered because of the after effects of this cruel procedure. They are at a high risk of infection and discomfort – what’s trendy or fashionable about that? Absolutely nothing.”
Earlier this year a man who posted photos of his XL bully dogs on Instagram was banned from keeping animals for 15 years after being convicted of arranging illegal ear cropping procedures for the dogs.
Warwick Crown Court heard that an RSPCA inspector visited the man’s previous address, in Nuneaton, following a report being made to the charity about his dogs having cropped ears.
Inspector Louise Marston said in a witness statement that, although he was not in during that visit, she was able to observe two XL bullies in his garden and could see that they had cropped ears.
But photos of the same dogs posted on social media just weeks earlier by the man showed them with ears intact.
Research by the RSPCA’s intelligence team concluded that images on the man’s social media pages of XL bully puppies – with their ears intact – were the same dogs.
The man was also given an 18-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months.
For more or to support the RSPCA, visit www.rspca.org.uk/cruelty.