Cruelty towards dogs increased by six per cent in Cornwall last year, new figures released by the RSPCA show
In 2022, there were 499 reports made to the RSPCA in the county about cruelty to dogs, compared with 470 in 2021.
The figures include reports made about intentional harm, neglect and abandonments.
The type of incidents which come under intentional harm are attempted killing, poisoning, beating, improper killing, mutilation and suspicious circumstances. There were 98 reports of intentional harm to dogs in Cornwall.
Nationally, the number of reports made to the RSPCA about dogs - including intentional harm, neglect and abandonments - in 2022 was 42,690, a seven per cent increase from 2021 (39,797).
In summer months cases of cruelty rise and the charity is braced for its busiest time of the year.
The charity has released the figures as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, in a bid to raise funds to help its frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty and abuse.
Richard Abbott, RSPCA chief inspector for Cornwall, said: “For hundreds of years dogs have been known as man’s best friend - and if you share your home with one, you will know why, as they are such loyal and loving companions.
“But these awful statistics tell a different story. Dogs are the most abused animal in this country and we investigate more complaints about them than any other type of animal.
“Everyone who cares about animals will be sickened to know how many reports we receive about dogs being kicked, beaten, burned or worse. We need the public’s help to Cancel Out Cruelty. Their donations, no matter how small, help keep our frontline officers out on the road rescuing animals and investigating these terrible reports.”
Dermot Murphy, RSPCA inspectorate commissioner, said: “Right now, animal cruelty is happening in England and Wales on a massive scale and rising. It is heartbreaking that we are seeing such sad figures which show animal cruelty is, very sadly, on the rise.
“While we don’t know for certain why there has been an increase, the cost of living crisis and the post-pandemic world we live in has created an animal welfare crisis.
“Each year, these reports reach its terrible annual peak in the summer months – when an animal is beaten on average every hour of every day. The cost-of-living crisis also means the cost of rescuing animals is at an all-time high and our vital services are stretched to the limit.”