When Hank the bull lurcher first arrived at the Lanarkshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre, he was in an appalling state.
The poor pup had been used for badger baiting and suffered horrific injuries.
Badger baiting is an appalling crime where small dogs wearing a locator collar are sent in to setts to find badgers underground.
When the baiters recognise the signs the dog has found a badger, they dig down to it. Once they uncover the badger, they set larger dogs – normally lurchers or bull breeds like Hank – on the badger and a fight ensues.
Mike Flynn, the SSPCA’s chief superintendent, 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 Hank who have been forced to engage in something so violent.
“Our expert teams are well equipped to rehabilitate an animal that has been through something as traumatic as Hank has.”
The committed staff in Lanarkshire rehabilitated Hank until he was ready to be rehomed. Rosemary Brown took Hank in and gave him the forever home he needed.
She said: “I first came across Hank on the Scottish SPCA website and fell in love with his cheeky wee smile.
“He had scarring on his face which I later found out was due to him being forced in to fighting badgers. I hate to think what he went through.
“We had our first meeting at the centre and he was very timid. He did come over and give us a sniff. He was scared but curious.
“When Hank came home with us, he was still very nervous. At first, he wouldn’t come out of the conservatory, poor boy. But he has been very loving from day one. He adores being cuddled.
"We said we weren’t going to let him on the couch but he now has his own! He also loves the pyjamas he sleeps in! He’s a big snuggle bug and just loves his home comforts.
“We’ve had Hank over six months now and he is so much more carefree than when he first arrived home.
“Hank 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.”
Unfortunately, many animals are still being forced to participate in abhorrent crimes like badger baiting. The SSPCA’s centres are also at capacity, as a result of the pandemic.
It’s for that reason, the charity – which relies solely on public donations – has this week launched its #DontLetAnimalsSuffer campaign.
Mike added: “Our centres have hit capacity and we desperately need the support of the animal loving public.
“We will continue to be here for every person and animal, like Hank, that needs us across Scotland.
“Every single person who signs up to support us will be making an impact and will allow us to rescue animals like Hank.”
To find out more about the #DontLetAnimalsSuffer campaign, visit www.scottishspca.org/puppy.