Back in 1983 Bananarama sang about a ‘Cruel Summer’ – now we are calling 2014 the cruelest summer on record, with this Saturday set to be the ‘day from hell’.

Between January and the end of July this year we received  806,356 calls to our 24-hour national cruelty line.

This is an average of 3,822 calls every day – one every 30 seconds.

Our inspectors report an increasingly horrifying catalogue of animal crimes over the summer months including:

  • public dog hangings
  • a live cat being flung into the Thames
  • a dog found tortured with a cable tie around his penis
  • five kittens left to die in a suitcase
  • wild animals being spray painted.

And some of our calls are just bizarre. One of our inspectors collected a Mexican Red Knee tarantula found straying in Hounslow town centre on Friday, 1 August. Another inspector removed two ‘house ducks’ from a vivarium in a flat in Chatham, Kent.

We are close to breaking point

RSPCA Chief Officer of the Inspectorate, Kevin Degenhard, said:

“This has been one of the cruelest summers our workers on the ground have ever seen and Saturday looks set to be the day from hell. With the remnants of the Atlantic hurricane arriving; school holidays in full swing and other summer issues.


“We are close to breaking point. No-one involved with the RSPCA wants to let an animal in need down, but we really need urgent help. We are asking people who see an animal in need over the weekend and through the summer to think whether they are able to help the animal themselves before calling the helpline.”

Increased number of calls compared to last year

In addition:

  • Collections of abandoned cats are up 13.6 per cent on last year.
  • We have received more than 250 calls about animals shot with air guns between June 1 – July 31. An increase of more than six per cent compared to last year.
  • We received almost 151,200 calls in June alone (average of five thousand calls a day – 210 calls an hour or 3.5 calls every 60 seconds).
  • In June we received almost 4,900 more calls than in June 2013.
  • This year has also been particularly busy due to the hot weather. We have received 2,369 complaints relating to the hot weather between July 1 2014 and August 4 2014. This is an increase of more than 300 compared with the same timeframe in 2013 and more than twice the number of calls received in 2012.

Find out more about our work investigating cruelty and read some examples of the types of cases we deal with.

We can’t do it without you

To help support the RSPCA please donate online today or text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).