Heartbreaking figures released by RSPCA Cymru have shown reports of intentional harm has risen by 9% – with incidents peaking during the summer months.
As a result, the animal charity is bracing for one of its busiest summers this year as it expects another summer of suffering, with more people reporting cruelty to animals from July to September.
The charity has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, to raise funds to help its frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty and abuse and to raise awareness about how to stop cruelty to animals for good.
The figures, exclusively released today by the RSPCA, shows:
Calls relating to international harm in Wales over the past three years have increased from 691 (2021) to 753 last year (2022) – a 9% increase.
The total number of complaints of alleged cruelty (all animals) in 2022 across Wales was 5,632.
In July, August and September calls about international harm were at its highest with 73 in July, 83 in August and 82 in September.
The three highest counties for intentional harm calls were Swansea (62), Cardiff (61) and Rhondda Cynon Taf (59). The most calls in a North Wales county was Flintshire with 54.
‘Heartbreaking that animal cruelty is on the rise’
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 in reports of cruelty, the cost of living crisis and the post-pandemic world we live in has created an animal welfare crisis with more people getting pets with potentially less time and money to care for them.
“Each year, these reports of cruelty reach its terrible annual peak in the summer months – when we receive a report of an animal being 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.”
It is not known why reports of animal cruelty peak in the summer months although factors like animal abuse being more visible as people are outdoors more, could be one factor.
The RSPCA is the only charity rescuing animals and investigating cruelty in England and Wales with a team of frontline rescue officers, specialist vet teams and a network of animal care centres and 140 branches providing rehabilitation to animal victims.
Dermot added: “Together, we believe we can and will cancel out cruelty to animals by replacing violence with kindness. We are urging people to donate to our Cancel Out Cruelty campaign,every donation will help animals.”
Incidents of cruelty in Wales include a South Wales man was caught on CCTV abusing his German Shepherd last summer after footage showed him kicking the dog and hanging him from a fence with his lead.
Last month the RSPCA revealed a hedgehog was found alive but covered in blood with its intestines trailing out, in a bedroom drawer. Despite being rushed to a vet immediately, the hedgehog was sadly put to sleep to prevent further suffering.
As the only charity in England and Wales investigating cruelty and rescuing animals, the RSPCA needs support to stay out on the frontline:
£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 4×4 inspector van
The RSPCA’s frontline teams are working hard to rescue animals in need this summer but we can’t do it alone – we need your help to Cancel Out Cruelty. To help support the RSPCA, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/stopcruelty