The shocking reality of animal cruelty in South Yorkshire has been revealed in new figures.
Controlled calls to the RSPCA has risen by 13 per cent in the last year, with the charity’s national control room, based in Rotherham, receiving more than 1.3million calls in just 12 months.
In South Yorkshire 78 people were reported to the RSPCA’s criminal department in 2011, and 41 court cases ended in successful prosecutions.
Nationally, the cruelty conviction rate rose by nearly a quarter to more than 1,300 people, just under 530 of whom were from the north of England, compared to 471 in 2010.
The figures - released ahead of National RSPCA Week which runs from Monday - prove cruelty to animals remains a growing problem.
Mike Hogg, the charity’s regional manager, said it is struggling to cope with the sheer number of reports it has to deal with.
He said: “The RSPCA strives to keep animals with their owners wherever possible and offers advice on improving their welfare.”
“Overwhelmingly this advice is followed, but where it isn’t, or where someone has already harmed an animal there has to be a way of ensuring that animals are not left to suffer and the RSPCA is the charity people turn to – and we are struggling to continue providing this service.”
“Of course we work closely with governmental and other charitable organisations, but we are the main organisation which prosecutes those who abuse animals and which can prevent cruelty to animals.”
“We can’t do this without the help and support of the public and we need it now more than ever.”
RSPCA Week 2012 runs from 30th April to 6th May. For more visit www.rspcaweek.org.