The RSPCA is trying to find the owners of a dog, which was left by two youths who were using it for badger baiting in Wirral woodland. Two dog walkers spotted the pair in woods in Puddington, encouraging four dogs to enter a badger sett.
One of the men ran after the pair, but they escaped with three of the four Staffordshire bull terrier and Patterdale cross-breeds. The RSPCA hopes someone will recognise the dog and identify its owners.
RSPCA inspector Nadine Pengilly said: “He’s a very distinctive dog, a young male, and really lovely. He’s been treated for facial injuries at the vet’s but otherwise he’s OK.” The dog is now in RSPCA care.
The youths are described as aged between 16 and 20, white, and were wearing black tracksuits. “In a village like Puddington, they would have stood out. They must have had some local knowledge to find the sett in the first place, but I suspect they are visitors to the area and may have had a car waiting nearby.” Ms Pengilly said.
It is illegal to take, kill or injure a badger, interfere with a sett, or be in possession of any part of a badger under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. It carries a maximum six-month prison sentence and/or a £5,000 fine.
Ms Pengilly said: “According to the two men, the badger disappeared underground in all the commotion.
“We’ve no way of knowing how badly hurt it was during the attack, but the fact that it got away is hopefully a good sign.”