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Duo left disfigured after suspected badger baiting are longest-staying dogs at Welsh rehoming centre

Two dogs who have received months of care and rehabilitation after sustaining terrible injuries as a result of suspected badger baiting, have spent nearly a year in kennels awaiting loving new homes.

Patterdale terriers Bert and Ernie have been at Llys Nini Animal Centre near Swansea since November 2021 following their rescue by the RSPCA.

Discovered at a property in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bert was missing 75 per cent of the skin from his lower jaw and had an exposed canine, while Ernie was suffering from wounds on his ear and chin and bilateral conjunctivitis. Their owner was prosecuted by the charity and received a suspended prison sentence.

Llys Nini staff have spent months working with the two-year-old dogs to build up their trust and confidence, but despite their friendly, sociable natures, there’s been limited interest from new owners and they are now facing their first anniversary in kennels.

Bert and Ernie’s appeal comes as the RSPCA has launched its annual Adoptober rehoming drive – a month-long campaign promoting adoption – at a time when new figures show that animal intake has increased but rehoming has slowed down.

Centre manager Gary Weeks, said: “Despite the cruelty they previously endured, Bert and Ernie are really affectionate and loving characters and it’s been so rewarding to see them flourish in our care. But at the same time we’re also sad that there’s been limited interest in them from potential adopters and they’re now the longest-staying dogs we have.

“Badger baiting is illegal but sadly it still goes on, causing incredible distress and suffering not only to the badgers but also to the dogs like Bert and Ernie who often suffer severe, untreated injuries.

Both dogs – who can be rehomed separately – had multiple scarring to their heads and necks when they arrived at Llys Nini. Bert responded well to treatment, although he has been left permanently scarred. Staff say he is motivated by food and toys and is a very clever dog that loves to learn and picks up new commands quickly. He will make an excellent companion for long walks with varied terrains but would prefer to be the only pet in the house with children aged 16 plus.

Friendly Ernie is described as a highly energetic and intelligent dog who is also looking for an owner who will take him on long and interesting walks and has a good understanding of training.

A quick outing round the block or local park is unlikely to be enough for him, so his new family will also need to come up with a variety of games to keep him busy and mentally stimulated. He would also prefer to be the only animal in the household and may be able to live with children aged 13 years plus.

Their owner was prosecuted by the RSPCA and given a suspended prison sentence, with a vet concluding that their serious untreated injuries were likely to have been caused by fighting with badgers.

Visit Llys Nini Animal Centre’s website for more details about Bert and Ernie and how to adopt them.

New figures released by the RSPCA as part of its month-long Adoptober campaign, show that the charity’s centres and branches across England and Wales rehomed almost 27,000 animals last year (2021), eight percent less than the previous year.

At the same time, more animals are arriving into the charity’s care and the average length of stay has increased, resulting in long waiting lists for spaces in rehoming centres.

For people who are able to bring a pet into their home, we are urging them to consider adopting rather than buying. Many RSPCA animals will already be neutered, vaccinated and treated for fleas and worms – making it a much more cost-effective option.

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