Animal cruelty convictions in region spike 51%

A significant amount of animal cruelty cases in the region were related to dogs

The number of cases involving animal cruelty in the East Midlands rose by over 50%, according to new figures from the RSPCA.

The animal welfare charity found that in 2011, 232 were convicted of cruelty and neglect to animals, a 51.6% rise from 2010 (153).

Some 499 people were reported to the RSPCA prosecutions department.

In Lincolnshire, there were 69 reports of animal cruelty and neglect, with 30 ending in convictions.

In addition to household pets, the figures also found a rise in the mistreatment of farm animals, such as horses.

From 2011, 172 people are banned from keeping pets (excluding fish) in the region, and 15 cases resulted in prison sentences.

A large percentage of the convictions in the East were due to the mistreatment of dogs — 353 convictions were made in relation to canine cruelty.

Cases include a Lincolnshire woman, who lived 750 yards from a veterinary clinic, having her rabbit confiscated by police as she did not get his swollen eyes treated.

She was ordered to pay £100 in prosecution costs and is not allowed to keep rabbits for five years.

Not all cases result in a conviction. Last year, a border collie named Bonnie was repeatedly stabbed in the street.

While Bonnie was rescued by the RSPCA and recovered from her ordeal, the case was dropped due to the person who carried out the attack not being traceable.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “We show zero tolerance to animal abusers. Anyone causing animals pain for profit or pleasure will be tracked down and prosecuted.

“We need the courts and councils, police and people who care to join us in standing up and getting justice for Britain’s abused animals,” he added.

Photo: Graeme King