RSPCA report reveals cruelty to animals and inspectors is rising

RSPCA inspector Charlotte Booker.
RSPCA inspector Charlotte Booker.

A RSPCA study has revealed that animal cruelty is rising in the Calderdale and the rest of the UK.

The animal welfare charity rescues thousands of animals from abusive situations, each year.

Many animals have been subjected to horrific injuries from weapons such as metal bars, knives, guns and crossbows.

RSPCA figures reveal that air rifle injuries on animals rose by 40 per cent to almost 800 attacks in 2012.

The horrific attacks include several cats shot in the face and whose eyes had to be removed and other cats who did not survive the shooting. A mouse was tortured with a power tool, a three-week-old lamb was found with its ears cut off, and a dog was beaten with a pole, leaving it with 30 fractures.

In September, a Halifax couple were jailed for 18 weeks and were banned from owning animals for life after they starved their one-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier and then burying him on public wasteland nearby in Illingworth.

Weapons and other threats of violence are sometimes used against the charity’s staff - with three out of four inspectors suffering abuse every year.

In 2012, RSPCA inspectors were assaulted or threatened 246 times with staff being threatened with knives, shotguns, machetes, claw hammers and other weapons as well as experiencing verbal threats.

RSPCA inspector Susan Haywood was assaulted last year. She said: “The bottom line is that the call comes in and your only thought is that there is an animal needing my help and you don’t even think about what could happen to you and whether there could be violence directed at you.”

“There was no way these animals can help themselves – that’s why our job is so important because we can get animals the help they so desperately need.”

The RSPCA is introducing a new appeal called ‘Everyday Heroes’ - which aims to highlight the bravery of charity workers who try to protect the helpless animals.

TV presenter and wildlife expert Chris Packham said: “I take my hat off to RSPCA inspectors, I wouldn’t want to go into the situations they do and deal with people who have inflicted such barbaric cruelty on defenceless animals - that takes real courage and professionalism.

“Sadly dealing with the most stomach-churning suffering is every day work to these men and women. I dread to think what would happen if they weren’t there to help

“These ‘Everyday Heroes’ can only help thanks to donations from the public so please give what you can.”