The RSPCA receives around 90,000 calls to its cruelty line every month and investigates 6,000 reports of deliberate animal cruelty, including animal fighting and hunting. But in the summer* calls rise to 134,000 a month - three every minute and reports of cruelty soar to 7,600 each month - a heartbreaking 245 every day.
The charity has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign today, to raise funds to help its rescue teams out on the frontline continue to save animals from cruelty and abuse and to raise awareness about how to stop cruelty to animals for good.
A tear jerking video released today follows the story of RSPCA Inspector Lauren Bailey who rescued Buddy, a mastiff-cross who suffered second degree burns from boiling hot water and was left in pain for 10 days.
Overall, the number of reports made to the charity’s cruelty line about animals being inflicted with intentional harm - including beatings, mutilations such as ear cropping, poisonings and even killings, has increased by 7.9% from summer 2020 to summer 2021 with more than 2,300 reports in June and July alone.
In Wales, across 2021 there were 692 reports of intentional harm against animals made to the RSPCA last year including 78 in Cardiff, 53 reports in Carmarthenshire and 50 in Rhondda Cynon Taff.
Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “We are a nation of animal lovers and no one wants to think of an animal being cruelly treated but sadly the reality is that every day animals are victims of deliberate cruelty and thankfully the RSPCA is there to help them.
“There are many factors which could explain why we see a rise in cruelty during the summer months. The longer sunny days could mean people are out and about more and likely to see and report abuse. Hot summer days can also lead to more people drinking alcohol in the sun which in turn can be a factor causing violence. Perhaps there is boredom or pressures at home with children being off school which can make existing difficulties magnified.
“And this year, we are also concerned that the recent rise in pet ownership coupled with the cost of living crisis could see people really struggling to care for their pets which may lead them to lash out or could see more animals than ever being abandoned or given up.”
The RSPCA received 1,081,018 calls to its Cruelty Line in 2021 in England and Wales and these included reports of;
- 1,094 killings or nearly three animals killed a day
- 632 mutilations or 12 animals brutally mutilated every week
- 7,857 beatings which equates to one animal beaten every hour
- 38,087 abandonments which equates to more than 100 animals callously abandoned every day
Dermot added: “These figures are shocking and deeply upsetting and show why we need your help to save those animals who need us the most now more than ever. As a charity, we are bracing to tackle a summer of suffering but we cannot do this without your help.”
The RSPCA needs your help rescuing animals like these three unwell kittens who were abandoned in Merthyr Tydfil.
The kittens were dumped in Vaynor, and found in a plastic container by a member of the public back in April. They reportedly saw a car leave the box of kittens in the area and drive off.
Shortly after receiving the call, when RSPCA inspector Gemma Cooper arrived, just one ginger kitten was found in the box, and two black and white kittens had climbed out and had got themselves in a tricky predicament.
“They had climbed up approximately 30 to 40 feet up a tree,” said Gemma. “They were unable to get down and were petrified.”
Merthyr Fire and Rescue Station attended the scene and were able to rescue the kittens from the tree safely. The three kittens - two boys and a girl, who were just around six to seven weeks old at the time - were taken into foster care by Gemma and were named Ursula, Underwood and Ulrik.
They were all suffering from conjunctivitis and one was very underweight.
“They were a bit unsocialised at first but they became very friendly and were just lovely to be around,” added Gemma.
One of the kittens has now been happily rehomed and the other two have been taken to the RSPCA’s Llys Nini Animal Centre.
Shocking and worrying incidents from 2021 also included:
- A ginger cat was shot in the Betws Ifan area, with his multiple injuries so severe that he had to be put to sleep.
- A herring gull shot in the Rhyl area. The bird had a badly injured and blood-splattered wing, and an X-ray at a local veterinary practice found three air gun pellets.
- Shock as five dead tortoises were found dumped at an allotment in Barry in “unexplained” circumstances.
- A cat shooting incident in Colwyn Bay where one-year-old grey cat, named Obi, was found in a very bad way at his Cysgod-Y-Bryn home. Sadly, vets found that Obi had been shot through his stomach with a pellet gun, and the bullet had gone onto snap the cat’s left back leg. Fortunately Obi recovered well following surgery.
- A cat was found with his leg “hanging off by its skin” after spending at least a week trapped in an illegal gin trap in Pembrokeshire.
- An RSPCA appeal for information was launched after a suspected double pigeon shooting in the Adamsdown area of Cardiff.
The RSPCA’s rescue teams need support to stay out on the frontline as the only charity rescuing animals and investigating cruelty.
- £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 4x4 inspector van