THE work of a Wirral based RSPCA inspector has been highlighted on national television.

Anthony Joynes, who works across Merseyside to crackdown on animal cruelty, starred in Tuesday’s episode of The Dog Rescuers.

The Channel 5 programme followed Anthony as he called on the police to help rescue an abandoned boxer called Rio in Birkenhead.

She had been left locked in a house on Clifford Street with no suitable food or water and was in an emaciated state.

The RSPCA was called to the address in December last year after receiving calls that the dog had been abandoned.

On arrival, they found Rio eating a raw onion – which can be poisonous to dogs.

The house was covered in wall-to-wall rubbish and faeces and there was no food or water to be found.

Rio - who was just skin and bone - was taken to a vet, who gave her a body score of just one – one being emaciated and five being obese.

Wirral Globe:
RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes.

But there was a happy ending for Rio - who is now ready to be re-homed - after the care and attention she received at the RSPCA’s Wirral and Chester Branch at the Wirral Animal Centre in Wallasey saw her put on 10kg.

Anthony, who won a top award in March for his tenacity and dedication to investigating animal cruelty, said: “We took her out of that awful house, it was heartbreaking really. It was difficult to switch off when I went home.

“This is why we all do it, this is the reason we put the uniform on on a morning because that’s the end result. There’s nothing better than that.”

In May, Rio’s former owner was given a 14 week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and banned from owning any animal for 10 years after pleading guilty to causing uncessary suffering to the dog.

Inspector Joynes told the Globe at the time: “Rio was on the brink of starvation and a vet who examined her said she would have died within a few days from organ failure due to the starvation and dehydration. 

"Since she has been in our care she has made an amazing recovery – and this is a result of us simply feeding her and giving her water.”

  • Click below to see a clip of last night's episode and visit Channel 5's website to watch it in full.