Rescue dog overlooked due to facial scars

A rescue dog is being overlooked by potential adopters due to the facial scars he’s been left with after a life of being used to hunt wildlife.

Five-year-old lurcher cross Bronco was rescued alongside six other dogs in a joint operation in Greater Manchester by the RSPCA and Cheshire Police, who were investigating a group of family members who were hunting wildlife with their dogs.

The charity’s Special Operations Unit worked with police in October 2020 to investigate social media posts suggesting the group used their dogs to hunt wildlife such as rabbits, foxes and badgers. Warrants were executed, seven dogs were seized and phones were removed which revealed images and videos of ‘sickening’ attacks on wildlife.

Bronco and the other dogs were removed from conditions described by the vet who attended the scene as ‘unhygienic’ (pictured) and said they had ‘scarring’ which were ‘commonly encountered when a dog has been fighting with another animal’.

The dogs were taken into RSPCA care and Bronco went to the charity’s Felledge Animal Centre, in County Durham, where he’s settled in well and is a firm favourite with staff and volunteers.

Kennel supervisor Jo Dodds said: “Bronco is such a lovely boy and he spent a long time with us while his case went through courts. Since he’s been available for rehoming we’ve sadly had no applications for him, even though he’s a beautiful boy, inside and out.

“Sadly, we fear people are being put off by his scars and the fact he has to wear a muzzle when he’s out and about. Due to his previous life experiences and his strong chase instinct he will need to be muzzled when he’s on walks but we’ve done lots of positive training with his muzzle and he’s happy wearing it.

“Bronco’s muzzle doesn’t prevent him from enjoying adventures and having fun on his walks but, sadly, there is a stigma around dogs who wear muzzles and we fear this may be another reason why people aren’t applying to adopt him.”

Bronco walks beautifully on the lead and is very popular with volunteers at the centre who enjoy taking him out for long walks. He gets on well with other dogs but can sometimes be uncomfortable around other males and needs gentle reassurance.

Ideally we’d like to find him a home where he’ll be the only pet. He’ll need a secure garden with a large fence as he has a high chase instinct and is very athletic. He could live with secondary school-aged children.

Bronco’s rehoming paw-rofile

  • I’m very clever and know lots of commands
  • I can be left alone for short periods
  • I’m a bright spark and would like to learn new tricks and games
  • I love food and will do almost anything for a treat!

Find out more about Bronco on Find A Pet or contact the team at Felledge on 0300 123 0708 or felledge@rspca.org.uk. If you’re interested in offering Bronco a home please fill in our Perfect Match form.