The total number of people convicted of animal cruelty in Nottinghamshire has more than halved in a year a new RSPCA report shows.
The RSPCA has released its Prosecutions Annual Report which shows defendants convicted in the county fell from 44 in 2012 to 18 in 2013.
But although the number of defendants convicted was down, the incidents of shocking cruelty continued with the report highlighting a number of brutal cases including the story of Tyson the dog from Alfreton who was abandoned and left to starve.
The charity’s officers in the Midlands investigated 47,858 complaints in 2013 compared to 47,426 in 2012. Nationally,153,770 complaints of cruelty were investigated by our inspectors, an increase from 150,833 in 2012.
David Bowles, head of external affairs at the RSPCA, said: “Whilst we are heartened that the numbers of convictions have decreased in most areas, the fact that we are investigating more and more complaints shows that there is still a culture of cruelty out there.”
A 21-year-old woman from the Alfreton area who abandoned her dog and left it to starve was disqualified from keeping animals for life.
Tyson, a Staffordshire bull terrier type, would have died within days, had he not have been rescued by the RSPCA.
The woman was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for a year and she was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and told to pay £250 costs.
Tyson was within days of dying and had been left in filthy conditions in his own urine and excrement, without water or food. He was like a skeleton, his ribs and spine were visible and he had very little muscle on his legs.
Within weeks of being in RSPCA care the dog’s weight almost doubled. When found Tyson weighed just 4.3kg a third of the typical weight for his breed.
A total of 406 people were convicted of animal cruelty in the Midlands area in 2013.
The figure is down around nine per cent from 2012 when 448 people were convicted of animal cruelty.
The West Midlands once again topped the Midland region’s charts with the highest number of people convicted – 90, but it was down slightly on 2012’s figure of 98.
But officers in the Midlands investigated more than 400 more complaints in 2013, compared to 2012.
The national figures show that dogs were still the animal most likely to be involved in cruelty cases, with 2,505 related convictions, although encouragingly this was slightly down on 2012 (2,568). The RSPCA also emerged as the country’s biggest dog rescuer, collecting more than 17,500 dogs in 2013.
David Bowles added: “Although there have been fewer convictions relating to dogs, we are still rescuing more and more and the fact is that the RSPCA takes in some of the most needy dogs - we don’t pick and choose by breed or by the desperate lives that they’ve lived before they came to us.”
“I think we should be proud that, despite taking in some very damaged animals, we rehomed an incredible 55,323 animals in 2013.
RSPCA Week 2014 runs from 14th to 22nd June and is an annual fundraising and awareness drive. To donate go to www.rspca.org.uk/rocky and text HELP to 78866 to donate £3 (texts cost £3 plus standard network rate). Alternatively you can donate by calling 0300 123 8181 or visiting www.rspca.org.uk/act