Prosecuting animal cruelty and neglect
We investigate and prosecute animal cruelty reported to us by members of the public who are concerned about the welfare of animals.
We're always grateful for the help of these individuals - because it takes all of us to get justice for cruelly treated animals and to transform their lives, wherever possible, to ones of love and kindness.
Recent prosecution cases
In 2018 we investigated more than 130,000 cases of alleged cruelty. With your help we secured 1,678 convictions for animal welfare offences.
Take a look at our latest Prosecutions Report to read some of the cases we dealt with last year, including the shocking case of 70 neglected dogs owned by a man who bred puppies to sell to the unsuspecting public.
Prosecuting to protect animals
We often get asked why we prosecute people, and it's not a decision we make lightly.
Wherever possible we offer advice and assistance to improve animal welfare, including giving people time to make improvements to their standards of care. But this is not always possible or appropriate, for example if there has been a deliberate act of violence against an animal, where people won't accept assistance, or in extreme cases of neglect.
It's under these types of circumstances when we consider prosecution under laws such as the Animal Welfare Act.
"If legislation to protect animals is to be effective, it must be adequately enforced."
Richard Martin MP, 1822 - co-founder of the RSPCA
The power to prosecute
Everyone in England and Wales has the right to bring a private prosecution against someone who they believe has committed an offence.
Help support our prosecutions work
Our ultimate aim is to prevent cruelty from happening. But, when it does, our officers are on hand to help us gather all of the evidence we need to secure a conviction to stop animal abusers from harming animals in the future.
With our cruelty line receiving a call for help every 30 seconds, we need your help to ensure that we can help as many animals as possible, either through rescue, education or, where necessary, by bringing a prosecution.