Nearly 2,000 animal cruelty complaints in Northamptonshire investigated by RSPCA last year

1,006 complaints to the RSPCA in Northamptonshire related to dogs
1,006 complaints to the RSPCA in Northamptonshire related to dogs

The RSPCA investigated 1,820 complaints about animal cruelty in Northamptonshire last year with five new animal welfare concerns being looked into by inspectors every day.

Cases investigated by the RSPCA in Northamptonshire last year included a dog who starved to death after he was left locked in a bathroom for more than a month and an abandoned emaciated lurcher who was so starving she ate her own faeces.

The most calls received related to dogs (1,006), followed by cats (411) and then equines (289).

Jim Lucas, the RSPCA’s chief inspector for the county, said: “Animal cruelty horrifies much of today’s society and this figure tells us that there are suffering animals in the county who need our help every day.

“We are very grateful to everyone who takes the time to raise concerns. A call from a member of the public not only helps to give a voice to animals in desperate need but it helps our officers investigate and help bring animal abusers to justice.

“It is shocking that people can be capable of such deliberate brutality towards animals, but equally it drives us on to ensure that perpetrators of animal cruelty are put before the courts.

“Either way, our officers are under increased pressure having to respond to more calls and investigate more complaints, but it is thanks to their dedication, as well as RSPCA staff and volunteers that we are able to transform the lives of thousands of animals in Northamptonshire each year.”

The figures were released as part of the charity’s annual Cruelty Statistics and show that nationally 141,760 complaints about animal welfare were investigated in 2017.

This year, the animal welfare charity is focusing on the plight of horses as animal rescuers and welfare charities struggle to cope with an ongoing equine crisis.

The statistics reveal that nationally, nearly 1,000 horses were rescued by the charity from cruelty, suffering and neglect in 2017, and a staggering 928 horses are still in the charity's care.

The national horse crisis, which charities first highlighted in 2012, has since seen RSPCA officers routinely called out to abandoned horses every day up and down the country, with many of them extremely sick, dead or dying on arrival.

In Northamptonshire in 2017, the RSPCA received 289 complaints about 173 horses.

Chief Inspector Lucas said: “Many of the calls we receive about equines are concerns about them being underweight, due to poor grazing or a lack of supplementary food, and also concerns about overgrown hooves.”

The RSPCA’s inspectorate national equine co-ordinator Christine McNeil said: “Up and down England and Wales, horses are being found sick, dying or sometimes dead. It is frequently the case that they have been abandoned and left to die. This is upsettingly very common and it’s a massive issue - a very sad one at that.

“We are constantly receiving calls to our cruelty line - on average 80 per day about horses alone across England and Wales - as well as messages every day on social media from very concerned and upset people asking for our help.”