Spike in Animal Cruelty across Hertfordshire

New figures reveal RSPCA sees spike in cruelty during summer months with 159 reports in Hertfordshire.

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New figures show the RSPCA sees a spike in cruelty during the summer months and with pet ownership on the rise coupled with financial pressures the charity is braced for a summer of suffering in Hertfordshire.

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 Hertfordshire, there were 159 reports of intentional harm against animals made to the RSPCA last year.

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 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 Buddy

RSPCA BuddyPoor Buddy suffered second-degree burns and was left for 10 days without veterinary treatment because his owner said he couldn’t afford it.

The three-year-old mastiff cross came into the RSPCA’s care after an incident in which he was burned by hot water and his owner failed to get him veterinary attention until a social worker intervened 10 days later.

He had burns across the whole of his body, from his head to the middle of his back and his whole left shoulder was completely red raw, and he was also suffering from an infection from the wounds.

He was rescued by RSPCA Inspector Lauren Bailey who said he looked so helpless when he was rescued and would have been in excruciating pain.

Thankfully Buddy’s physical scars healed thanks to expert vet care and dedicated rehabilitation by the RSPCA team but it took months of rehabilitation to get Buddy back on track.

The mastiff cross was adopted by the Bushaway family, from Baldock, in Hertfordshire. His owner, Lee, said: ‘To look at him now you really wouldn’t even know what he’d been through.’

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 4×4 inspector van

RSPCA  frontline teams are working hard to rescue animals in need this summer but they can’t do it alone – they need your help to Cancel Out Cruelty. To help support the RSPCA, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/stopcruelty.

If you cannot donate, there are other ways you can help Cancel Out Cruelty, from volunteering with the RSPCA, holding a bake sale or fundraiser, or taking part in the #50MilesForAnimals challenge.

*Refers to June, July and August