Emaciated: This stray American bulldog, named Bud by SPCA staff, had lost 30 per cent of his body weight and had skin cancer. He had to be put to sleep. *Photo supplied by the SPCA
Emaciated: This stray American bulldog, named Bud by SPCA staff, had lost 30 per cent of his body weight and had skin cancer. He had to be put to sleep. *Photo supplied by the SPCA
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Dogs are being left to starve to death on the end of chains, the SPCA has warned.
The charity told the Bermuda Sun communities are turning a blind eye to the blatant suffering of animals.

The SPCA said they have witnessed a “significant rise” in the number of emaciated and malnourished dogs being taken into their Paget shelter.

Director Kim Sherlaw told how at least one of the starving animals was covered in scars typical of dog fighting.

She said: “Some of the animals we have dealt with recently were literally being allowed to starve to death.

“They were chained up and in full view of neighbours and passersby.

“For these animals to reach the condition they have, people must have just turned a blind eye to their plight.

“Eventually someone may do something to contact the authorities — but that can be end up being too late and they must be euthanized.

“For dogs to end up in some of the emaciated states we have seen is unbelievable.

“It’s a serious concern and it seems to be getting worse.”

In the last few months the SPCA has taken in pit bull crosses rescued from across the island.

They have been close to death and some of the animals have lost up to 30 per cent of their body weight. They were so weak they could barely stand.

Many were kept in full sight of neighbours tied up in a garden or on a porch.

Debbie Masters, SPCA field investigator, told the Bermuda Sun she has been “shocked and devastated” by the condition of some dogs.

She said: “This is an escalating problem. The dog ban has led to pit bulls especially becoming a persecuted breed.

“They are bred underground and exchanged for two or three thousand dollars.

“They are never socialized and often are just kept in garages and sheds so they are not spotted.

“There is a genuine fear from people in the community to do anything about it when they see a starving dog.

“People are fearful of reprisals from the owner so don’t say anything.

“This attitude has to change — the pit bull is in crisis and we see it in the shelter every month.”

Ms Sherlaw urged members of the public to contact the SPCA or Government animal wardens if they witness animal neglect or suffering.

She said: “No one is looking after the dogs who have fallen through the cracks in the system.

“There are few prosecutions and little precedent to hold owners accountable.

“Some dogs have been seized and destroyed while others simply get returned to their owners.

“Some owners have been given too many chances and their dogs continue to deteriorate and suffer.”

Bulldog had cancer

The stray American bulldog cross (pictured) was spotted wandering through the streets of St. David’s.

He was picked up by Government animal wardens and then transferred to the SPCA.

Staff at the shelter named the five-year-old Bud.

This 10-year-old pit bull cross is the subject of an SPCA cruelty investigation.

He had been chained to the front of his owner’s house in Warwick in full view of neighbours and tenants.

His ribs and backbone are clearly visible, as is the heavy metal chain used to secure him to the property.

When the SPCA seized him, he had lost 25 per cent of his body weight and had several scars on his face and body, typical of those found on animals involved in dog fighting.


Pit bull a fight dog?

A 10-year-old pit bull cross is the subject of an SPCA cruelty investigation.

He had been chained to the front of his owner’s house in Warwick in full view of neighbours and tenants.

His ribs and backbone are clearly visible, as is the heavy metal chain used to secure him to the property.

When the SPCA seized him, he had lost 25 per cent of his body weight and had several scars on his face and body, typical of those found on animals involved in dog fighting.

This dog is currently under veterinary care and is gradually being nursed back to health by staff at the SPCA.

He is recovering well.


Pet a bag of bones

Queenie was so thin and weak when rescued by the SPCA that she resembled a bag of bones.

The dog, believed to be about four years old, had lost 30 per cent of her body weight.

A concerned member of the public persuaded her owner to give up Queenie before she was handed to the SPCA.

She had been chained outside the owner’s back door in full sight of neighbours.

Queenie underwent surgery to repair bone and ligament damage in her legs.

She was adopted by a loving family with children and now also has a canine companion.