RSPCA chiefs call for help from Hartlepool public to tackle cruel thugs behind animal baiting

Cameron McLeod

Cameron McLeod

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RSPCA chiefs are urging members of the public to report suspicions of animal baiting in Hartlepool in a bid to prosecute the cruel thugs behind it.

The plea from the animal charity comes after town man Cameron McLeod was jailed for 23 weeks for being present at sick animal fights – where dogs were goaded on to attack badgers, a fox and a deer.

Pip the dog that was in the care of Cameron McLeod when the dog fights took place.

Pip the dog that was in the care of Cameron McLeod when the dog fights took place.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA, which also released a picture of the injuries to Pip the dog, which was in McLeod’s care at the time of the animal fights, said: “We are urging members of the public to be our eyes and ears and contact us or the police if they have any specific information about deliberate, organised cruelty, like this. In many of the cases we bring like this, the attacks have been documented by the people involved – they have taken photographs or filmed them in order to watch them themselves or share with others.

“Though in this particular case the footage was passed to us by the police, who were looking into something else, these photos and this footage and the sharing of it is often how we find out about them.

“The attacks on the animals in this case were abhorrent, and everyone involved has found it distressing. Hopefully, publicity will help to send a message to people involved in this kind of cruelty.”

McLeod, 29, of Annandale Crescent, pleaded guilty at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court to six counts of being present at animal fights between February and April last year.

The attacks on the animals in this case were abhorrent, and everyone involved has found it distressing.

RSPCA spokeswoman

Sickening footage shown in court showed three dogs attacking a live badger and being goaded on by a number of cruel thugs.