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RSPCA warns of crisis over spike in animal cruelty in Cambridgeshire

By Ben Comber

A Cottenham man was sent to prison for 18 weeks this year after he failed to get care for his dog Patch's fractured leg, which was amputated as a result
A Cottenham man was sent to prison for 18 weeks this year after he failed to get care for his dog Patch's fractured leg, which was amputated as a result

Six new cases of suspected animal cruelty were investigated each day by the RSPCA in Cambridgeshire last year, making it the South East's fifth cruellest county.

In total, 2,387 complaints about animal cruelty were investigated in the county during 2017. The most calls received in Cambridgeshire related to dogs (1,296), followed by cats (533) and then horses (412).

The RSPCA says it is struggling to cope with an “equine crisis”. Nearly 1,000 horses were rescued by the charity last year.

In Cambridgeshire, two foals reportedly just hours from death were found in a field by the RSPCA last year.

Nationally Cambridgeshire ranks 22 of 47 counties. Greater London was the worst, with 11,259 complaints of cruelty.

Jayne Bashford, the RSPCA’s chief inspector for Cambridgeshire, said: “Our officers are still stretched to the limits as we try to help all the suffering, sick and dying animals in our county.

“Even though I have been with the RSPCA for a very long time now, I am still shocked and saddened by the awful incidents of cruelty which our officers are dealing with day in and day out.

“The job of an RSPCA officer can be tough and emotionally very draining, but being able to rescue an animal from horrific neglect or brutal cruelty, and know they are going to be given a second chance thanks to the tireless work of our staff and volunteers, is the reason we keep doing it.

“The work of the RSPCA family helps to transform the lives of thousands of animals in Cambridgeshire each year and we are so grateful to the public who report cruelty to us and continue to support our vital work.”

The RSPCA last year had a prosecution success rate of 91.2 per cent.

Anyone with concerns for an animal can call the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

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