Home   Thanet   News   Article

Margate: Plight of chihuahua cross Chunky sparks calls for animal cruelty register

By Leo Whitlock

He was punched, kicked, fed drugs, set on fire and left for dead.

Chunky’s plight sparked outrage across the country after the broken body of the chihuahua cross was discovered by a passer-by at the rubbish tip in Manston Road, Margate.

Four teenagers, whose identity was protected by the law, were banned from keeping animals for five years after pleading guilty to torturing the tiny puppy.

Chunky was stolen, tortured and dumped at a rubbish tip
Chunky was stolen, tortured and dumped at a rubbish tip

Now, a year after he was stolen, more than 450,000 people have signed a petition demanding the government sets up an animal cruelty register.

Organiser Maxine Berry is hoping to hand over the 11 pages of signatures and 96,000 comments to Thanet North and animal rights campaigner MP Sir Roger Gale to pass on to ministers.

She said: “Chunky was attacked for hours in what the RSPCA called one of the most disturbing cases of animal abuse they had ever seen.

“Chunky was, over a period of hours, beaten and drugged, his neck was broken, he was set on fire and finally he was dumped and left for dead.

Four teenagers carried out the brutal attack on Chunky
Four teenagers carried out the brutal attack on Chunky

“Despite serious injury, and against all odds, Chunky lived. The people who committed this abuse were only banned from keeping animals for five years."

Maxine, who once owned a dog just like Chunky, said she found his story ‘highly upsetting’.

She said: “What shocked me is that these abusers and others like them will be able to own an animal again one day. There’s nothing to prevent them doing this again.

“I’m asking that anyone who abuses animals, regardless of their age, be placed on an animal cruelty register which would follow them for life.

Chunky is on the road to recovery
Chunky is on the road to recovery

Maxine is calling on the authorities to look to America to make changes to the law.

She said: “In some states in the US they already have animal abuse registries.

“If this had happened in New York these abusers would have to sign onto an animal abuse list that would prevent them from ownership of animals. The UK needs to introduce a similar law.

“A five-year ban is not sufficient. It is hard to implement in practice and why do we assume abusers attitudes will have changed after a few years?

Chunky a year after his horrific ordeal
Chunky a year after his horrific ordeal

“Our legal system should have an animal abuse list so that we are aware of people who have mistreated animals.”

In November, police issued a warning to not to make threats or name the Chunky's attackers on social media. A 25-year-old man was issued with a £90 fixed penalty notice for malicious communications.

After a raft of criticisim, Leo Whitlock, editor of KentOnline's sister paper the Thanet Extra, used his blog to explain that the law prevented the media from naming the teenagers even if they wanted to.

Chunky is now well on the road to recovery and even has his own Facebook page.

You can add your support to Maxine's petition here.

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More