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In Battling The Cruel Face Of Animal Abuse We

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Courier Mail

MOSES was found in a Rockhampton churchyard on a chilly day in May. Too weak to walk, he had been dumped there and left to die.

Devastatingly thin, terrified and with barely any fur left to warm him, Moses was believed to be a Siberian husky cross, but vets could not be sure. They found he had devoured pine cones to survive. Moses was a gut-wrenching sight.

Moses is one of about 12,000 animals in Queensland who will this year be on the receiving end of an RSPCA emergency rescue call. In anyone's parlance, that is a shockingly high number of creatures great and small in need of urgent care.

Moses stayed in hospital for a short time, then became one of the 6500 animals who will spend more than 185,000 days with an RSPCA foster carer this year. And in his particular foster carer placement, Moses hit the jackpot.

Wendy Hilcher - who specialises in taking on abused or neglected dogs, or "black tags" as they are known - focused her years of experience on Moses' rehabilitation. She showed him security, care and love.

For 10 weeks, she fed him, worked with him, sat with him, walked with him and talked to him.

Hilcher, who has taken in more than 200 high-need, abused dogs in the past six years, says Moses quickly became her "handsome man". She gave him her all. But Moses was the first dog she had cared for who could not be loved back to health.

After intensive veterinary treatment, anxiety medication and behavioural therapy, Moses continued to live in constant fear, his abuse at the hands of a person unknown leaving him unable to trust.

While he showed tiny signs of response to Hilcher's love, he was frightened around everyone else.

His shattered spirit was so broken that it could not be mended.

Twelve days ago, with his loving foster mum by his side, Moses was put to sleep.

Hilcher is devastated. In her words, she has cried "rivers of tears" for her beautiful, broken boy.

She has created a video tribute to Moses' journey to help the public understand how prevalent animal abuse and neglect is in Queensland. Scroll down to watch the video.

She says she wants people to understand that effects of this social blight ripple far beyond the poor, damaged animal to the many involved in trying to help them heal.

The amount and level of cruelty that continues in the backyards of our neighbours' homes is alarming. The RSPCA in Queensland last year responded to 13,772 cruelty complaints. The number is growing every year and those on the ground say the kind and extent of the horrors they see are getting worse.

That such neglect is so widespread in Queensland should concern us all.

Even a person who is not an animal lover struggles to rationalise such shocking treatment of sentient beings.

But so many still scoff, as if a domesticated animal is a thing, an object, an item that can be thrown away. And I wonder then who really are the animals in our community.

When cases such as Moses' draw attention, animal lovers like me weep. But tears must transform into action.

RSPCA animal behaviour trainer Fiona Blake, who works with neglected and abused animals, says dogs who receive love and care for even a short time when they are puppies have a better chance of being rehabilitated after abuse than those who are never shown love and care. Puppies learn fear by the time they are four months old.

She says she has seen some dogs who are so damaged that even eye contact from a person can send them cowering. A trigger as simple as catching sight of a man in a uniform or a person with a broom in their hand can make them urinate with fear.

Blake says behavioural treatment starts small, with steps like just sitting calmly nearby, or reading a story or speaking kindly to them in a normal voice. Such simple kindnesses start healing and soothing most fearful, damaged creatures.

But while medical care and good nutrition can heal broken bodies, a handful of animals remain mentally harmed beyond repair. And it should never come to that.

We all have a responsibility to promote animal care and blow the whistle on abuse. Too many animals are suffering because people fear speaking up and upsetting their neighbour or insulting a friend. But reports of suspected abuse or neglect to the RSPCA can be anonymous.

Often all that is required to help an animal is to educate the owner and remind them of their responsibilities.

Moses' journey is a reminder to those who think they have the right, because they own an animal, to abuse it and neglect it, that such behaviour is not acceptable.

We must speak up and stand up for an animal that is being flogged, starved, or left alone for too long.

We are their only hope for something better. As Moses experienced, there really are some things in this world worse than death.

RIP Moses :rainbowbridge:

Edited by krystal&coco
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Guest lavendergirl

Absolutely horrendous :cry: I think it would have been kinder to the poor dog to PTS when he was found in that condition. RSPCA have PTS dogs in better condition than poor Moses.

I would like to believe in karma and that the person responsible would pay but I have become a bit too cynical. :(

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Moses was just too good for this place & now has finally found a more peaceful place to rest. Poor boy :(

Never ceases to amaze me just how down right cruel people can me. No wonder I am liking most people less & animals much more.

And they say we are suppose to be the 'superior' ones. I think NOT.

R.I.P Moses & run free boy :angel::rainbowbridge:

Many thanks to Wendy Hilchner for trying so very hard to help this poor fella. Your a gem :flower:

Edited by BC Crazy
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