South Yorkshire named as animal cruelty hotspot in shocking new figures

South Yorkshire has been named as one of the UK’ animal cruelty hotspots, shocking new RSPCA figures show.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 10:29 am

Over the last five years, the charity has received 3,055 reports of intentional cruelty to animals in South Yorkshire - making it the 6th highest area for animal cruelty reports across the UK.

In response, the charity has launched its new ‘Cancel Out Cruelty’ campaign after our region was named as one of the top ten cruelty hotspots in England and Wales.

The drive is to raise funds to keep its rescue teams out on the frontline saving animals in desperate need of help and to raise awareness about how we can all help stamp out cruelty for good.

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South Yorkshire is an animal cruelty hotspot.
South Yorkshire is an animal cruelty hotspot.

The RSPCA gets around 84,000 calls to its cruelty line every month and around 1,500 of those are about intentional cruelty. But the charity sees a rise in the summer by around 400 calls, on average, per month, which equates to 47 calls every day or two every hour.

July is a particularly busy month for investigating cruelty - last year the RSPCA dealt with a spike in intentional cruelty as 1,532 incidents were called through to their emergency helpline and the charity is expecting a similar spike this July.

Beatings, knife crime, drowning and intentional killing are just some of the horrific incidents RSPCA animal rescuers deal with every day.

Dermot Murphy, head of RSPCA animal rescue teams, said: “We always sadly see a rise in cruelty during the summer months. As well as more people being out and about in the longer sunny days, seeing and reporting abuse, we feel there are a number of factors which contribute to this rise.

“Unfortunately, the hot summer days can lead to more people drinking alcohol in the sun which can be a factor in causing violence. There could also be boredom during the long holidays and more pressures at home - when the whole family is on holiday from school and work, existing difficulties in the home can be magnified. During these hot months, calls to our cruelty line rise, putting more pressure on our already stretched frontline rescue teams.

“Police forces reported a rise in domestic violence last year during lockdown and we are concerned that similar pressures which led to this rise may also have impacted on more cruelty to animals behind closed doors during the pandemic.

“The past year has seen a reportedly huge rise in pet ownership* and we know most people would not dream of harming an animal. However, we are concerned that, as we come out of lockdown and people return to their jobs outside the home or suffer financial pressures, we will see more animals suffer if their owners find themselves unable to cope.

“We are urging people in South Yorkshire to support our campaign to Cancel Out Cruelty so we can all work together to end cruelty towards animals.

“We urge anyone who wants to report animal cruelty to us to call our hotline on 0300 1234 999.”

To donate to the Cancel Out Cruelty campaign and help us continue to rescue animals in need, visit www.rspca.org.uk/stopcruelty.