DISTRESSING CONTENT: South Yorkshire named as 'hotspot' for animal cruelty

South Yorkshire is a hotspot for animal cruelty, new figures from the RSPCA reveal.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 1:55 pm

As the animal charity launched its new ‘Cancel Out Cruelty’ campaign today, figures reveal South Yorkshire to be one of 10 ‘cruelty hotspots’ in England and Wales.

Over the last five years, the charity has received 3,055 reports of intentional cruelty to animals in South Yorkshire - making it the 6th worst place in the country for such incidents.

There were 337 such reports last year.

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South Yorkshire has been named as a hotspot for animal cruelty

The Cancel Out Cruelty campaign is aimed at raising funds to keep the RSPCA’s rescue teams out on the frontline.

The charity receives around 84,000 calls to its cruelty line every month and around 1,500 of those are about intentional cruelty but the charity sees a rise in the summer by around 400 calls, on average, per month - which equates to 47 calls every day or two every hour.

July is a particularly busy month for investigating cruelty and last year the RSPCA dealt with a spike in intentional cruelty , with 1,532 incidents reported to its emergency helpline and the charity is expecting a similar spike this month.

Beatings, knife crime, drowning and intentional killing are just some of the incidents RSPCA animal rescuers deal with every day.

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.”

He 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.

“The past year has seen a reportedly huge rise in pet ownership and we know most people would not dream of harming an animal. However, we are concerned that, as we come out of lockdown and people return to their jobs outside the home or suffer financial pressures, we will see more animals suffer if their owners find themselves unable to cope.

“We are urging people in South Yorkshire to support our campaign to Cancel Out Cruelty so we can all work together to end cruelty towards animals.

To donate to the Cancel Out Cruelty campaign and help us continue to rescue animals in need, visit www.rspca.org.uk/stopcruelty.

Call 0300 1234 999 to report cases of animal cruelty to the RSPCA.