Branded as barbaric by veterinary techs and critics, an investigation by the BBC has uncovered the process of ‘dog mutilation’, a new social media trend that sees breeders cropping dogs’ ears in the name of fashion.
Previous RSPCA employee, and current local Salford dog walker, Sarah Harrison, said: “It is heart-breaking what abuse animals encounter, let alone at Christmas time.
“During my time at RSPCA, I experienced many encounters of animal abuse and neglect. We would find many neglected puppies around summertime, six months down the line since they were purchased as a Christmas gift.
“So many animals have lost their trust in human beings, it is incredibly sad.”
Cropping ears is when the breeder removes parts of dogs’ earflaps for cosmetic reasons.
Paula Boyden, a spokesperson from Dogs Trust, said: “There was no justification at all for the practice, this leaves dogs with health and behavioural issues.”
Puppy owner, Joe Mort explained his frustrations on the recent news. He said he was “shocked” when he opened up the BBC news app this morning.
He commented: “This is disgusting news, and is utterly unacceptable, no animal and their life should ever be a social media trend.”
Animal mistreatment and neglect after Christmas is a recurring issue in the UK. With the festive season approaching, the RSPCA warns people to seriously consider whether their dogs will be a lifelong purchase, or just a festive gift.
They further said that sadly, three pets are abandoned every hour over Christmas.
Many dog charities and care centres urge pet owners and buyers to question their financial situation before making a purchase, along with weighing out their time schedules and whether they can provide the correct care for their dogs.
A manager at Swinton’s Doggy’s Do-Little Care Centre said: “I have seen many encounters of dogs being handed in by partners as one didn’t like the size or want that particular dog for Christmas. It’s utterly heart-breaking, they are not gifts, they are animals.”
Dog carers and charities plead for pet buyers to ask themselves a tonne of questions, before making such a serious decision.