New figures reveal spike in cruelty during summer months
New figures show the RSPCA sees a spike in reports of 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.
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 days.
Overall, the number of reports made to the charity's cruelty line about animals 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.
Dermot Murphy, RSPCA Chief Inspectorate Officer, said:
We're a nation of animal lovers and no one wants to think of an animal being cruelly treated, but sadly the reality is that everyday animals are victims of deliberate cruelty and thankfully the RSPCA is there to help them.
There are many factors that 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's boredom or pressures at home with children being off school which can make existing difficulties magnified.
And this year, we're 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
As a charity, we're bracing ourselves to tackle a summer of suffering. These figures are deeply shocking and upsetting and highlight why we need your help more than ever to save these animals in desperate need.
The RSPCA needs your help rescuing animals like Daisy, Buddy, Smudge and Bean
At just 18 weeks-old Daisy had already suffered fractures to two legs, her hip, four ribs and her jaw had been fractured twice. The injuries were caused at different times in a series of attacks by her previous owner and were left untreated.
The English bull terrier was rescued from her plight by Inspector Lisa Lupson who rescued her from Merseyside last year.
After undergoing surgery and receiving treatment for her injuries Daisy continued on her journey back to health and was rehabilitated by the RSPCA Wirral and Chester branch. She found her forever home where she could start a new and happy chapter in her life.
Buddy suffered second-degree burns and was left without veterinary treatment because his owner said he couldn't afford it.
Three-year-old mastiff-cross Buddy, 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.
The charity has released an emotional video of his journey.
Inspector Lauren Bailey said:
We had a call about a dog who had been burnt across his whole body. I remember walking into the vets and it was almost too much to see this poor dog, this beautiful gentle giant was just red raw from his head to the middle of his back and his whole left shoulder. I could feel the pain for him. He looked so helpless at that point.
Now, two years on, Buddy's scars have finally healed and, thanks to the care of the Lauren Bailey and Blackberry Farm Animal Centre who rehabilitated and rehomed him, Buddy has now found a perfect forever home.
Smudge and Bean
Two young kittens, Smudge and Bean, suffered life-threatening injuries over a period of months including several rib fractures and a fractured femur. Vets soon grew suspicious that these injuries were non-accidental and a result of blunt force trauma and contacted the RSPCA.
The seven-month-old tabby kittens were rehomed by the RSPCA York, Harrogate and District Branch who rehabilitated the kittens and helped them learn to trust people once more.
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 4x4 inspector van
Our 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.