RSPCA received 174 cat cruelty reports in Buckinghamshire over 12 months
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New figures released by the RSPCA today (27 July) show that the animal welfare charity received 174 cat cruelty reports in Buckinghamshire.
Data produced by the famous charity is taken from 2022 and forms part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign.
Those 174 reports were among 18,000 cat cruelty complaints reported to the RSPCA in the UK last year.
Of those reports 1,726 were intentional harm incidents - which is around five a day. This is a 25 per cent increase from 2021 when the number was 1,387, the RSPCA said.
The charity has released the figures in the hopes it will encourage people to donate to its frontline rescue teams.
Also, the RSPCA reports that the summer is a peak time for animal cruelty reports, with the charity receiving as many as three a minute.
Analysis from the RSPCA suggests the cost-of-living crisis has been a contributing factor into an increase in deliberate harm to animals, as finances involved in rescuing animals is at an all-time high and the RSPCA is being stretched to the limit.
Dr Sam Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animal department, said: “Cats are one of the most popular pets in the UK with an estimated 11 million pet cats in UK homes but our figures suggest sadly they are the second most abused pet - after dogs.
“It is heart-breaking to think that five cats every day are suffering at the hands of humans - it really is appalling - but sadly the RSPCA knows all too well that this cruelty is carried out on a regular basis.
“We see hundreds of felines come through our doors every year who have been subjected to unimaginable cruelty - being beaten, burned, thrown around, had bones broken, been shot at, poisoned and drowned.
“In many cases these pets have been injured deliberately by their owners - the very people who are supposed to love and protect them. But cats are also more vulnerable as they tend to be out and about on their own which can leave them vulnerable to airgun attacks and other forms of cruelty by complete strangers.”
More information on how to support the charity and the animal cruelty figures can be found online here.
Another reason the RSPCA mentioned as a possibility addressing why more acts of cruelty are reported in the summer, was the fact more people are outside and therefore around to witness attacks.
Stephen Reeves, RSPCA acting chief inspector for Buckinghamshire, said: “Right now, animal cruelty is happening in England and Wales on a massive scale and rising. It is heartbreaking that we are seeing such sad figures which show animal cruelty is, very sadly, on the rise.
“While we don’t know for certain why there has been an increase, the cost of living crisis and the post-pandemic world we live in has created an animal welfare crisis.
"The cost-of-living crisis also means the cost of rescuing animals is at an all-time high and our vital services are stretched to the limit.”
“Together, we believe we can and will cancel out cruelty to animals by replacing violence with kindness. We are urging people to donate to our Cancel Out Cruelty campaign.”