Dog horrifically injured by sick badger baiters finally in loving forever home

A lurcher who suffered "horrific injuries" while being forced to fight badgers to the death has been adopted by a loving family.

Mikey arrived at the Scottish SPCA’s Milton centre with serious wounds and was cared for and rehabilitated by dedicated staff.

He has been left with heartbreaking physical and emotional scars his new owners hope they "will fade more every day", the Daily Record reports.

The charity has told Mikey’s story as its centres hit capacity due to a surge in demand following raids and seizures of puppies from low-welfare pup farms and dealers.

Chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Badger baiting is a truly abhorrent crime where there are no winners.

“The wild animal will almost always end up dead but it’s not only wildlife that suffers.

“Sadly, we have had to euthanise dogs involved in badger baiting due to the severity of their injuries.

“We are dedicated to providing every animal with the best possible care, especially those like Mikey who have been forced to engage in something as violent as badger baiting.”

The sick crime involves small dogs wearing a locator collar being sent into setts to find badgers underground.

When the baiters recognise the signs the dog has found a badger, they dig down to where the badger is and set larger dogs, normally lurchers or bull breeds, like Mikey, on the badger and a fight ensues.

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Some baiters deliberately injure the badger first to give their dogs a better chance.

The Scottish SPCA say Mikey arrived at the centre with “horrific” injuries but he is now settling into life in his new loving home with Laura Fraser and her family.

She told how Mikey loves nothing more than a scratch behind the ears and being tucked up in his blanket with his favourite toy.

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She said: “We have also found that he does not like to go out in the rain.

"He does have a wee jacket that he wears which he is very proud of.

“He has to be tucked in every night in a pink blanket with his caterpillar toy.

“Mikey still has the physical scars from his former life but as he realises all we expect from him is to be loved and for him to love us, hopefully the emotional scars fade more every day.”

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The Scottish SPCA is meanwhile appealing to animal lovers across the country for support as its centres hit capacity amid an increase in the number of calls to its unwanted animals helpline.

It comes as a rise in demand for puppies has led to a spike in raids and seizures of pups from farms and therefore a surge of animals in their care.

In 2020, over 136,000 calls were made to the charity’s animal helpline and its frontline team attended an average of 214 incidents each day, which totalled almost 78,000 over the year.

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A total of 3,369 animals were rehomed and over 7,000 wild animals were admitted to the National Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Mike added: “Our centres have hit capacity and we desperately need the support of the animal loving Scottish public so that they don’t let animals suffer.”

The Scottish SPCA receives no government funding and is entirely reliant on donations from the public.

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