A puppy beaten to death with a baseball bat and a kitten spun in a clothes dryer are examples of the horrific animal abuse crimes that are on a dramatic increase in Britain.
In a report just released, the RSPCA revealed shocking news that convictions for deliberate acts of cruelty and neglect to small animals, farm animals, horses and donkeys rose by 33.8 percent in England and Wales in 2012. The animal charity said it is “struggling to keep up” with the “growing animal cruelty cases.”
The number of prosecutions grew to 4,168 last year from 3,114 in 2011. It was the highest spike of people found guilty of animal abuse since 2008.
The RSPCA says it does not know what is causing the increase in abuse, but noted that staff members are taking more calls from people who are having a hard time financially. While this might be a reason for more cases of neglect, RSPCA Chief Executive Gavin Grant said it doesn’t explain the rise in cruelty.
Some of the other victims of the shocking abuse included a dog that was repeatedly slashed with a knife by his owner and two young puppies that were buried alive. More than 30 rabbits and guinea pigs were found living among dead animals in filthy hutches and an emaciated pony was rescued from a tether that pinned it to the ground.
In addition to the increase of convicted abusers, RSPCA inspectors investigated 150,833 suspected cases of cruelty last year and issued 78,090 “advice” notices to owners. The group said the notices, which give pet owners suggestions are, “extremely effective in improving the care of animals.” The welfare agency said prosecution for offenders is “always their last resort.”
“However, if there is evidence of a crime and serious animal abuse then we will take legal action to protect the animals and prevent further abuse,” said Grant.
Judges are also imposing serious sentences for those convicted of the abusive crimes. The 27-year-old man who beat the puppy with a baseball bat received 18 weeks in jail and the 22-year-old who spun a kitten in the dryer spent 56 days in jail. Both men are banned from owning another pet.
The RSPCA also rescues abused, abandoned and neglected animals and those numbers increased dramatically in 2012 as well. The organization saved the lives of 130,695 animals last year, which is a 9.7 increase from 2011. That included rescuing pets such as a litter of newborn kittens that were abandoned in a park and helping 64,000 chickens that nearly drowned in a flooded barn. They also treated 500 horses, ponies and donkeys in 2012.
“We are leading the fight against a growing animal cruelty crisis,” said Chris Nice RSPCA inspector. The charity said its staff and volunteers are dedicated and will not give up the fight to save animals.
The RSPCA is currently holding their annual campaign. They expressed this plea, “More animals need our help than ever before and I urge everyone to give us as much support as they can, volunteer for us or, if they are able, to give a new home to an abandoned or abused animal.”
Photo Credit: JulieGibbons