New figures show there is a spike in animal cruelty during the summer and the RSPCA is warning an increase in pet ownership, coupled with financial pressures, could see this rise further.
The RSPCA receives about 90,000 calls to its cruelty line each month, but in the summer it rises to 134,000 a month.
Calls also increased by 7.9 per cent from summer 2020 to summer 2021.
The charity has started a campaign to raise funds to help the work of its rescue teams on the frontline.
In Somerset, there were 157 reports of cruelty made to the RSPCA last year.
In Gloucestershire the number was 139, while in Wiltshire it was 96, and in Bristol, 71.
The reports can include beatings, mutilations, such as ear cropping, poisonings and even killings.
Cost of living
Dermot Murphy, chief inspectorate officer at the RSPCA, said: “These figures are shocking and deeply upsetting.
“There are many factors which 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,” he added.
Mr Murphy said: “This year, we are 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 charity has released a shocking video following the story of RSPCA Inspector, Lauren Bailey, who rescued Buddy, a mastiff-cross.
The animal had suffered second degree burns from boiling water and was left in pain for 10 days.
“As a charity we are bracing to tackle a summer of suffering but we cannot do this without your help,” Mr Murphy said.
The organisation said it needed support to stay out on the frontline as the only UK charity rescuing animals and investigating cruelty.
*Refers to June, July and August.
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