GUEST COLUMN: The RSPCA's Rachel Butler calls for suppot to tackle animal cruelty
March was the craziest month of the year to be an RSPCA press officer, as annual figures were released of the number of complaints we have investigated in 2015.
In Nottinghamshire, RSPCA inspectors investigated 3,127 complaints in 2015 – an average of eight each day.
Among these were the Nottinghamshire owner of two dogs, one of which lived in a filthy crate in a garage and another which had such rotten teeth that she could not eat.
An RSPCA inspector found one of the dogs in the crate, which contained urine, faeces and wet bedding, with no food or water.
As soon as he was released from the crate he began to drink from plant pots and a nearby puddle.
A second dog – 16-year-old terrier – was also found to be suffering from a severe mouth disease which led to pus coming out of her mouth.
The disease was so bad that she could not eat and as a result was extremely thin.
Another case which our inspectors in Nottinghamshire investigated was that of an elderly dog which was abandoned on a hot day in August last year at the entrance of a park.
If it wasn’t for his whimpering, the 15-year-old might not have been found when he was on the hot summer’s day that he was dumped.
With no water and panting desperately, the whippet had been left tied by a bush at King Edward Park, in Sneinton.
An RSPCA inspector said at the time: “It is heartbreaking to think that someone would just leave him like that – and given his age as well.”
Thankfully, in January this year, the dog got the happy ending he deserved when he was adopted by a family in Derbyshire.
It is difficult to understand what possesses people to commit the barbaric acts of cruelty we see and many of them defy belief.
Every single person who works for the RSPCA wishes that animal cruelty could be stamped out once and for all.
But it is important to remember that while our annual cruelty statistics highlight the worst cases we are involved with, there are millions of responsible, caring pet owners who look after their pets appropriately.
It is you – the kind animal-lovers – who act as our eyes and ears on the ground by reporting animal cruelty to us.
If you see any animal being mistreated, please contact us on 0300 1234999.
We are extremely grateful to every single person who supports us by looking out for animals and their welfare.