New figures reveal RSPCA sees spike in cruelty during summer months with 394 reports in South Yorkshire

New figures show the RSPCA sees a spike in cruelty during the summer months and with pet ownership on the rise coupled with financial pressures the charity is braced for a summer of suffering in South Yorkshire.

Thursday, 7th July 2022, 2:37 pm

The RSPCA receives around 90,000 calls to its cruelty line every month and investigates 6,000 reports of deliberate animal cruelty, including animal fighting and hunting.

But in the summer calls rise to 134,000 a month - three every minute and reports of cruelty soar to 7,600 each month - a heartbreaking 245 every day.

The charity has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign today, to raise funds to help its rescue teams out on the frontline continue to save animals from cruelty and abuse and to raise awareness about how to stop cruelty to animals for good.

Layla now after her recovery

A tear jerking video released today follows the story of RSPCA Inspector Lauren Bailey who rescued Buddy, a mastiff-cross who suffered second degree burns from boiling hot water and was left in pain for ten days.

Overall, the number of reports made to the charity’s cruelty line about animals being inflicted with intentional harm - including beatings, mutilations such as ear cropping, poisonings and even killings, has increased by 7.9 epr cent from summer 2020 to summer 2021 with more than 2,300 reports in June and July alone.

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In South Yorkshire, there were 394 reports of intentional harm against animals made to the RSPCA last year. This places South Yorkshire in the top five most cruel counties.

Just look at Maggie now

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “We are a nation of animal lovers and no one wants to think of an animal being cruelly treated but sadly the reality is that every day animals are victims of deliberate cruelty and thankfully the RSPCA is there to help them.

“There are many factors which could explain why we see a rise in cruelty during the summer months.

"The longer sunny days could mean people are out and about more and likely to see and report abuse.

“Hot summer days can also lead to more people drinking alcohol in the sun which in turn can be a factor causing violence.

Layla is a beautiful whippet-type dog who was found in a neglected state with all her bones visibly protruding from her body

“Perhaps there is boredom or pressures at home with children being off school which can make existing difficulties magnified.

“And this year, we are also concerned that the recent rise in pet ownership coupled with the cost of living crisis.”

The RSPCA received 1,081,018 calls to its Cruelty Line in 2021 and these included reports of;

1,094 killings or nearly three animals killed a day

This was the state of poor Maggie's leg when she was found

632 mutilations or 12 animals brutally mutilated every week

7,857 beatings which equates to one animal beaten every hour

38,087 abandonments which equates to more than 100 animals callously abandoned every day

Dermot added: “These figures are shocking and deeply upsetting and show why we need your help to save those animals who need us the most now more than ever. As a charity, we are bracing to tackle a summer of suffering but we cannot do this without your help.”

The RSPCA needs your help rescuing animals like Maggie.

Maggie was just a tiny kitten when she was found soaked through and abandoned in a box in the rain with a painful, fractured leg

Maggie was just a tiny kitten when she was found soaked through and abandoned in a box in the rain with a painful, fractured leg.

Thankfully a member of the public spotted the young tabby and white kitten hidden beneath conifers in a field in Doncaster and contacted the RSPCA.

She was suffering from a serious injury to her back leg which saw her bone sticking out and the wound had become infected.

Animal Rescue Officer Kate Hertherington rescued the kittene, and took her for urgent veterinary treatment but sadly her back left leg could not be saved.

Unfortunately, the person responsible for abandoning Maggie was never found and how she came to be so severely injured is still unknown.

Maggie was taken into the care of the RSPCA Doncaster and Rotherham branch where she made a full recovery and was rehomed in February.

The RSPCA rescued Layla from squalor and now needs a loving home.

Layla is a beautiful whippet-type dog who was found in a neglected state with all her bones visibly protruding from her body.

She was rescued by the RSPCA from a house in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in January 2020 following a report by a member of the public who was concerned about the welfare of the dog.

He found Layla was emaciated with her spine, pelvis and hips clearly prominent and her owner agreed to sign her over into RSPCA care so could receive emergency veterinary treatment.

A veterinary examination found Layla had a body score of one out of nine (with one being the lowest) - which is an emaciated state. The vet estimated she had been suffering for between six and eight weeks.

Layla, aged four, is now in the care of RSPCA Sheffield Animal Centre and is looking for her forever home after 850 days in their care - making her one of the charity’s longest stay dogs.

They feel her nervous nature may have put people off adopting her in the past. But are confident her lovely and playful personality will win over experienced owners.

The RSPCA’s rescue teams need support to stay out on the frontline as the only charity rescuing animals and investigating cruelty, whilst in RSPCA care: £2 could help to provide a meal for a cat or dog; £6 could help pay to feed a dog for a day; £10 could help pay towards bandages for a cat or dog; £15 could help pay for a cat or dog’s clinical exam; £20 could help pay towards a bird catching kit; £30 could help pay for a life jacket for an inspector; £100 could help pay towards water rescue equipment; £500 could kit out a 4x4 inspector van.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Dominic Brown, editor.