Kicking cruelty into touch

The RSPCA is today revealing new figures which show that the highest numbers of people convicted for animal cruelty overwhelmingly live in the North – with Yorkshire and the North East taking half of the top 10 positions in our league table of cruelty and Greater Manchester coming in 8th position.  

The other cruellest counties include Kent, Essex and the West Midlands.  These 10 make up more than half of the national total of people convicted in 2013 – 746 of 1,371.

These counties saw some of the worst examples of cruelty including a dog named Bonnie who was chased around a garden in Withernsea with a piece of wood as her owner attempted to beat her with it; a dog named Peggy from Greater Manchester who was savagely beaten with a vacuum attachment by her owner in a prolonged attack filmed for his entertainment; a Staffy called Stella who was starved to death before being wrapped in a duvet and put out with the rubbish in Leeds; a dog named Kyra who was left to starve to death despite her home being yards from a vet surgery and animal charities; and a dog named Ruby who was punched, kicked and dragged to death by twin men in Kent.

But at the other end of the league table, 10 counties emerged as the kindest, with the fewest people prosecuted for animal cruelty.  The majority of these were in the South West and West of England, as well as East and West Sussex.  They accounted for just 61 of the total people convicted.  And whilst there were incidents of horrific cruelty in these counties, there were also moments of hope for animals.

A dog named Florence from Brighton who was rehomed after her front paws fell off because her extremely matted fur stopped her circulation; a puppy from Worthing named Bonzo who survived and was rehomed despite having to have his leg amputated because he was stood on so forcefully; a pet rat who survived to be rehomed after being pushed out of a second storey window in Hereford; and three Shetland ponies who found new homes after they were so thin that they had to be carried to a transporter.

The league table is released as the RSPCA launches its Prosecutions Annual Report –

It is also #RSPCAWeek which runs from 14 to 22 June 2014 and is an annual fundraising and awareness drive.   To donate please go to and text HELP to 78866 to donate £3 (texts cost £3 plus standard network rate).  Alternatively you can donate by calling 0300 123 8181 or visiting



Notes to editors

The league table is available in a separate document.

Footage for some of the cases referred to can be downloaded at

For interviews, figures, case studies or photos please contact the press office on 0300 123 0244/0288 or email

RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS
Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288  Fax: 0303 123 0099
Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 07825 158490
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