RSPCA facing ‘crisis’ as animal cruelty rises as economic situation worsens

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Animal cruelty is at “crisis” point in the county, according to the lastest figures from the RSPCA.

Oofficials have been left shocked at levels of neglect, leaving legal action the only course left open.

The animal welfare charity has compiled annual cruelty figures as the economic climate continues to bite, forcing some owners to leave their pets to suffer intolerable pain and anxiety.

Overall, the number of people convicted for cruelty and neglect to animals rose by nearly a quarter in England and Wales last year.

And in Kent in 2011, some 148 people were reported to the RSPCA for allegedly causing cruelty. Officials obtained convictions in 49 cases.

That is more convictions under the Animals Welfare Act than East and West Sussex and Essex added together. Only greater London had a higher figure - at 61 convictions from 113 reports.

Convictions have risen over two per cent, and disqualifications from keeping animals have soared 17 per cent in Kent and the South East. Cruelty to dogs went up 37 per cent, and 85 per cent more defendants went to prison.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “The RSPCA faces a crisis that is stretching us to breaking point.

“We show zero tolerance to animal abusers. Anyone causing animals pain for profit or pleasure will be tracked down and prosecuted.

“We need the courts and councils, police and people who care to join us in standing up and getting justice for Britain’s abused animals.”

South East regional manager Sally Bruce said: “We work closely with governmental and other charitable organisations, but we are the main organisation which prosecutes those who abuse animals and which can prevent cruelty to animals. We can’t do this without the help and support of the public and we need it now more than ever.”

In Welling in January, 2011, a man caught on camera kicking his dog was sentenced to eight weeks in prison and banned from keeping animals for five years. He was filmed kicking his dog, Sparkie, and pulling him into the air by his lead in Knee Hill Park near Woolwich in October ,2010.

Sparkie has since been found a new home by the RSPCA in Tonbridge.

In Ramsgate, a man was banned by Canterbury magistrates from keeping animals for life in September, 2011, after keeping his dog in filthy squalor. He was found guilty in his absence of failing to meet the welfare needs of a German shepherd dog named Jet, despite warnings. His filthy flat had broken glass, faeces and urine covering the floor. Jet was later found a new home.

Also in Ramsgate, a man and woman admitted causing unnecessary suffering to puppies, Zeus and Zozo, in April, 2011. Both defendants were banned from keeping animals for two years and were ordered to pay costs of £1,954. The emaciated 10-month-old Staffordshire bull terriers were found cowering in puppy crates in a hallway and later found new homes.

And in Northfleet, a mother and son were banned from keeping animals for 10 years in February, 2012, after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to their dog, Imhotep and their cat, Saxon, and also admitted failing to meet the welfare needs of their other cat, Bear.

Rottweiler Imhotep had a large growth on his shoulder and was lame. He hadn’t received veterinary treatment and could barely walk. He collapsed when being removed from the flat and RSPCA inspector Vikki Dawe had to carry him out. He had to be put to sleep by a vet shortly after to prevent him from suffering further. It was estimated that he had been suffering for at least a month and a half.

Ginger cat Saxon was suffering from a severe flea problem which had not been treated and had caused him to be anaemic and lethargic.

Tabby cat Bear’s needs were not met as he had not been protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease – he hadn’t received treatment for a flea problem which had led to scabs on his head and neck.



News, sport, video, blogs and local information
where you live...

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 1°C

Five-day forecast


  • Kent on Sunday

    Kent Life

    Kent Bride

    Visit Kent

  • Community Health


    Education for Kent

    Broadstairs Food Festival