THE RSPCA has faced another horrific year of cruelty cases across Wales.
The RSPCA’s annual figures for 2014 show that there has been a rise in the number of complaints investigated from 11,372 in 2013 to 11,740.*
A shocking 1,389 of these complaints in 2014 involved deliberate and often violent cruelty being inflicted on animals. This was up from 1,264 in 2013. These complaints include beatings, fighting related, improper killing, poisoning, trapping and mutilation.
RSPCA Cymru superintendent Martyn Hubbard said: “It is extremely concerning that we are still receiving more than 1,300 complaints about animals being deliberately caused to suffer.
“Most of the complaints we receive involve animals being neglected or not receiving the right care and often we can put that right by offering welfare advice. However, it is shocking that in 2014 people are still being deliberately cruel.”
In total the RSPCA in Wales secured 116 convictions in magistrates’ courts in 2014 – there were 297 convictions in 2013. (Please note that one person can receive more than one conviction and a case may concern one of multiple suspects)
The number of defendants convicted in Wales in 2014 was 47. This is compared to 79 in 2013.
The number of suspects from Wales reported to the RSPCA prosecutions department was 245 in 2014 (down from 318 in 2013).
The number of offenders cautioned in 2014 was 74 – down from 91 in 2013.
The latest figures show a 100 per cent success rate for RSPCA prosecutions in Wales last year – which also follows a 100 per cent success rate in 2013.
The number of animal owners who were offered and accepted welfare advice increased from 4,920 in 2013 to 5,527 in 2014. The vast majority of RSPCA work is improving animal welfare by giving advice to owners.
Superintendent Hubbard added: “Our aim is always to prevent cruelty so it’s really positive that a greater number of people followed our advice. Crucially this means that although we are still receiving complaints about cruelty we are often getting to incidents before suffering has occurred and helping owners to provide for their animals, whether that means getting veterinary care for them or just giving them the right diet.
“Sadly, though, where cruelty is still happening there will be a need to prosecute in the most serious cases and it is upsetting that so many people are still mistreating animals by deliberately causing them harm or by not providing them with the care they deserve.”
Some shocking cases of cruelty from 2014 include:
Two young female Staffordshire bull terriers from Prestatyn that were found suffering from severe chronic skin conditions. The dogs were virtually bald, their itching constant and their suffering significant. Following treatment the dogs has recovered. (picture left)
Another heartbreaking case was Bear, the Labrador cross from Aberystwyth, who lived a miserable existence suffering due to his chronic skin condition. Bear had overgrown claws, infected eyes and infected ears and had significant hair loss along his back, sides, legs and face.
Two horses were found suffering considerably in Haverfordwest: a dark bay ex-racing stallion called Paddy had a body condition score of zero and was around 35% underweight; and the other horse Victor was approximately 25% underweight.
A Pontypool case where a rabbit’s teeth were severely overgrown to the point that faecal matter and hay were impaled on them in clumps – was one of the worst cases of rabbit neglect the inspector and her colleagues had seen.
Other cruel incidents included a puppy which was thrown into the River Rhondda with a head wound. The owner admitted he had thrown her into the river thinking she would die; and Max, a cocker spaniel from Brecon, who was left with a fractured leg after being violently kicked by his owner.
An investigation into wildlife crime by the RSPCA Special Operations Unit, supported by North Wales Police, revealed a man was involved in hunting wild mammals with dogs and animal fighting. The defendant was disqualified from keeping dogs for eight years and given 30 days imprisonment suspended for one year.
To report animal cruelty please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.
The RSPCA is a charity that relies on public donations to investigate complaints received and to care for many thousands of sick, injured and badly treated animals every year. To help, please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (texts cost £3 plus one standard network rate message).