The RSPCA is releasing its annual cruelty statistics for 2013 and West Yorkshire comes out worst across England and Wales for the number of people convicted of animal welfare offences.


One hundred and twenty six people were convicted of offences in West Yorkshire last year after the RSPCA brought prosecutions. Durham had the second-highest figure with 100 people convicted*.


The figures are just some of those which form part of the charity’s Prosecutions Annual Report**, published to coincide with #RSPCAWeek (14-22 June).


Top Ten Counties

Number of people convicted

West Yorkshire




West Midlands


Greater London


East Riding of Yorkshire




North Yorkshire


Greater Manchester


Tyne and Wear





Across England and Wales the number of people convicted decreased 11.7% from 1,552 to 1,371 but across the RSPCA’s North of England region the number was up 6.6% at 566 in 2013 compared to 531 in 2012.


RSPCA regional manager Mike Hogg said: “The figures are usually the highest in the North of England, and of course it’s impossible to say for certain why that is.


“We have a large number of big cities in the region where greater numbers of people typically live. There also tend to be greater levels of poverty and education in these places. Another factor could be that people living in the North are more likely to call the RSPCA if they see something they don’t think is right.”


In our North of England region, the RSPCA investigated 1,763 more complaints in 2013 than in 2012 (38,664 up from 36,901). Across England and Wales the number of complaints investigated rose from 150,833 in 2012 to 153,770 in 2013 (a rise of 2,937).


Investigations that resulted in prosecutions and convictions in 2013 included that of a male Rottweiler dog called Kaiser who was found dead in a filthy yard in Greater Manchester with an extremely emaciated female called Jez curled up next to him. Inside the house one of their pups was found dead and another had to be put to sleep on veterinary advice. Happily Jez, now named April, and two surviving puppies recovered from their ordeal and were rehomed.


In East Yorkshire, a female Dogue de Bordeaux called Bonnie was terrified by her owner who was filmed by a witness chasing her around a garden with a piece of wood. She is now living with a loving family.


In County Durham, a female Shih Tzu dog now called Maggie (pictured) had her pelvis broken on at least three occasions, fractures to her lower back, multiple broken ribs and bruising all over her body after being repeatedly beaten. In total, she had 29 bone fractures. After lots of TLC she is now in a wonderful new home. Beaten Shih Tzu Maggie after clipping © RSPCA


‘Man’s best friend’, the dog, was still the animal most likely to be involved in cruelty cases, with 2,505 related convictions across England and Wales in 2013, although encouragingly this was slightly down on 2012 (2,568).


The charity has also emerged as the country’s biggest dog rescuer, collecting more than 17,500 dogs in 2013***.


David Bowles, head of external affairs at the RSPCA, said: “Although there have been fewer convictions relating to dogs, we are still rescuing more and more and the fact is that the RSPCA takes in some of the most needy dogs – we don’t pick and choose by breed or by the desperate lives that they’ve lived before they came to us.


“I think we should be proud that, despite taking in some very damaged animals, we rehomed an incredible 55,323 animals in 2013.”


#RSPCAWeek 2014 runs from 14 to 22 June and is an annual fundraising and awareness drive.   To donate please go to or text HELP to 78866 to donate £3 (texts cost £3 plus standard network rate).  Alternatively you can donate by calling 0300 123 8181 or visiting
As well as donating money, you can help us by collecting money or organising an event – visit where you can download a fundraising pack, volunteer for local collections, join our animal welfare campaign and find out about rehoming an animal.


*A full breakdown of the North of England prosecution case figures by county is attached to this email on a separate document. Example prosecution case studies for the North of England are also attached to this email on a separate document.


**The Prosecutions Annual Report can be downloaded at


***The number of dogs rescued by the RSPCA in 2013 was 17,665 and includes those taken in by our inspectors, as well as those admitted to our branches, centres and clinics.