Vile ‘dog ear mutilating kits’ that make pets look ferocious up for sale online

Kits that let owners mutilate dogs’ ears are on sale online.

The painful procedure, which has no health value, involves cutting and taping their ears to make them stand up so the pet looks more ferocious.

It is often done on breeds such as Dobermans and American bulldogs, which have become popular among footballers and celebrities.

RSPCA dog welfare expert, Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Dogs have their ears cropped for one reason and one reason only, to achieve a certain ‘look’.

“In short, it makes them look tougher, more intimidating.”

Ear cropping is illegal here under the Animal Welfare Act, unless done for medical reasons. But a loophole allows pups with clipped ears and docked tails to be imported, often from the US and Russia.

Despite a crackdown, the Daily Star Sunday found kits still being sold on sites such as eBay. They include a scalpel handle, thumb forceps, 10 blades and scissors.

One, a Seven-Piece Dog Ear Suture Kit Surgical Veterinary Instruments pack, similar to the one inset, is £10 can be shipped to British customers.

Dr Ed Hayes, head of public affairs at The Kennel Club, said: “People know they shouldn’t be doing it, but we’re seeing it left right and centre.

“It was banned a long time ago but cropping is something that sadly seems to have come back into fashion,

“Sadly there are loopholes in the law which people use, such as buying cropped dogs from countries where it is not illegal, like the US, or sending their pets there to have it done.

“Others are doing it themselves then claiming to have bought the dogs from abroad to avoid prosecution.

“Despite a crackdown by a lot of platforms, many kits are still being sold online, which come with surgical scissors and bandages.

“Even worse than that we’re hearing about a lot of horrific cases where people have done it themselves at home using kitchen scissors and a bottle of vodka.”

Dr Hayes said they had also seen breeders advertising dogs on sites such as Gumtree with cropped ears.

Many have superimposed images such as emojis onto to the dogs cropped ears to enable them to advertise them.

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Animal experts say cropping is painful and traumatic, and can cause lifelong damage and behavioural issues to the dog.

It involves trimming their naturally floppy ears when they are puppies, stitching up the edges and taping the ears to a hard surface for several weeks while they heal, so they remain upright.

Apart from hearing, dogs also use their ears for communicating with humans and other dogs, and showing emotions such as fear or content.

Without their ears, they have fewer ways of communication and often find it hard to socialise.

Comedian Ricky Gervais, who previously backed a campaign to prevent imports of cropped dogs to the UK, said: “It’s horrific to think that something as barbaric as ear cropping still goes on.

“To think anyone would do this to an animal just for the sake of image is disgusting.”

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