Over the last five years, the RSPCA has dealt with more than 2,440 reports of intentional cruelty to animals in the county – making it the 10th highest area for cruelty reports.
London topped the list with more than 8,500 calls, while Manchester came next with 4,690 calls, and then the West Midlands with 4,491.
The RSPCA gets around 84,000 calls to its cruelty line every month – and the summer months have seen a dramatic rise, with a report coming in every two hours.
The animal welfare charity released the figures today as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, which aims raise funds to keep its rescue teams out on the frontline saving animals in desperate need of help.
Dermot Murphy, head of RSPCA animal rescue teams, said: ‘We always sadly see a rise in cruelty during the Summer months. As well as more people being out and about in the longer sunny days, seeing and reporting abuse, we feel there are a number of factors which contribute to this rise.
‘Unfortunately, the hot summer days can lead to more people drinking alcohol in the sun which can be a factor in causing violence.
‘There could also be boredom during the long holidays and more pressures at home - when the whole family is on holiday from school and work, existing difficulties in the home can be magnified. During these hot months, calls to our cruelty line rise, putting more pressure on our already stretched frontline rescue teams.’
Beatings, knife crime, drowning and intentional killing are just some of the horrific incidents RSPCA animal rescuers deal with every day.
The head of the rescue teams added; ‘Police forces reported a rise in domestic violence last year during lockdown and we are concerned that similar pressures which led to this rise may also have impacted on more cruelty to animals behind closed doors during the pandemic.’
In 2020, the charity received 8,214 calls about someone beating an animal – almost one an hour.