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Cruelty to dogs increased by three per cent last year

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They may be man’s best friend – but sadly cruelty towards dogs increased by three per cent in Gloucestershire last year, new figures released by the RSPCA show.

In 2022, there were 559 reports made to the RSPCA in the area about cruelty to dogs, compared with 540 in 2021.

The heartbreaking figures include reports made about intentional harm, neglect and abandonments.

The type of incidents which come under intentional harm are attempted killing, poisoning, beating, improper killing, mutilation and suspicious circumstances. Shockingly, there were 124 reports of intentional harm to dogs in Gloucestershire.

Nationally, the number of reports made to the RSPCA about dogs – including intentional harm, neglect and abandonments – in 2022 was 42,690, a 7% increase from 2021 (39,797).

In summer months cases of cruelty rise and the charity is braced for its busiest time of the year.

Sarah Chambers, RSPCA chief inspector for Gloucestershire, said: “For hundreds of years dogs have been known as man’s best friend – and if you share your home with one, you will know why, as they are such loyal and loving companions.

“But these awful statistics tell a different story. Dogs are the most abused animal in this country and we investigate more complaints about them than any other type of animal.

“Everyone who cares about animals will be sickened to know how many reports we receive about dogs being kicked, beaten, burned or worse. We need the public’s help to Cancel Out Cruelty. Their donations, no matter how small, help keep our frontline officers out on the road rescuing animals and investigating these terrible reports.”

The RSPCA is highlighting the figures as part of the charity’s Cancel Out Cruelty campaign – after latest figures showing the charity saw a 22% increase in reports of beatings in 2022 (9,658 in 2022, compared to 7,857 in 2021). 

The figures released by the RSPCA also shows:

  • In 2022 the charity saw a 22% increase in reports of beatings (9,658 in 2022, compared to 7,857 in 2021)
  • The number of beatings reported to the RSPCA in 2022 peaked in August, when 1,081 reports were received – a staggering 35 a day
  • The number of animals killed in ‘suspicious circumstances’ increased in 2022 by 15% from by 2021 (891 in 2022, compared to 775 in 2021)
  • 77% of all cruelty complaints reported to the charity 2022 were beatings 

‘Animal cruelty happening on a massive scale’

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA inspectorate commissioner, said: “Right now, animal cruelty is happening in England and Wales on a massive scale and rising. It is heartbreaking that we are seeing such sad figures which show animal cruelty is, very sadly, on the rise.

“While we don’t know for certain why there has been an increase, the cost of living crisis and the post-pandemic world we live in has created an animal welfare crisis.

“Each year, these reports reach its terrible annual peak in the summer months – when an animal is beaten on average every hour of every day. The cost-of-living crisis also means the cost of rescuing animals is at an all-time high and our vital services are stretched to the limit.”

As the only charity in England and Wales investigating cruelty and rescuing animals, the RSPCA needs support to stay out on the frontline:

  • £2 could help to provide a meal for a cat or dog in our care
  • £6 could help pay to feed a dog for a day in our care
  • £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 4×4 inspector van

The RSPCA’s frontline teams are working hard to rescue animals in need this summer but we can’t do it alone – we need your help tCancel Out Cruelty. To help support the RSPCA, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/cruelty 

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