The sickening abuse animals have suffered in London in 2016 has been revealed by the RSPCA as it publishes its latest cruelty figures.

Greater London had the highest number of complaints in the country in 2016 with 11,812 - a 9% increase from 11,050 in 2015.

Across the south east, 35,000 animal cruelty cases were investigated in 2016 - a 4% rise on the previous year. That works out as around 97 complaints investigated every day, or four every hour.

The statistics were revealed in the RSPCA's Prosecutions Annual Report, released on Wednesday (March 29).

The shocking catalogue of abuse in the south east included an 11-week-old kitten "Tiny Tim" which was killed after receiving "blunt force" injuries to his head and stomach; a bull terrier which was violently beaten, kicked and stamped on; and a German Shepherd found so collapsed in a Croydon garden, it looked dead.

The charity's Superintendent for the south east, Paul Stilgoe, said: "I never stop feeling appalled when I look back at the shocking catalogue of cruelty the region’s inspectors are called about.

"We investigate such horrific cases of abuse and extreme neglect - as this year’s figures and case studies show."

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Nationally, there were 400 allegations of animal cruelty every day in 2016 - a total of 148,604 and a rise of nearly 5% from 2015.

Calls to the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty hotline rose by nearly 4%, which amounted to more than 1.15million calls last year - averaging one every 27 seconds.

The most complaints concerned the welfare of dogs (84,994), followed by cats (36,156) and equines (19,530), the report shows.

There was also a rise in the number of owners who were offered and accepted welfare improvement advice and notices - up to 84,725, compared with 81,475 in 2015.

The counties in England and Wales with the highest number of animal cruelty complaints in 2016 were:

  1. Greater London (11,812)
  2. West Yorkshire (7,920)
  3. Greater Manchester (7,708)
  4. West Midlands (6,834)
  5. Kent (5,475)
  6. Lancashire (5,124)
  7. South Yorkshire (4,806)
  8. Essex (4,566)
  9. Hampshire (4,131)
  10. Merseyside (3,818)

Supt Stilgoe added that despite the horror of some cases, it is important to remember that there are also happy endings.

"As well as investigating the cruelty, our inspectors and animal centre staff rescue, rehabilitate and rehome thousands of animals a year," he said.

The figures are not down to an increase in cruelty, more that people are less willing to stand by and do nothing if they think an animal is suffering, according to assistant director of the RSPCA Inspectorate, Dermot Murphy.

He added: "People might see these figures as a negative, and I certainly take no cheer from knowing that any animal has suffered. What I do take pride in is knowing that because of the RSPCA’s intervention we have prevented many more animals from suffering at the hands of those who we have successfully investigated and brought before the courts.

"Our officers are under increased pressure having to respond to more calls and investigate more complaints, but it is thanks to their dedication, as well as RSPCA staff and volunteers across England and Wales that we are able to transform the lives of tens of thousands of animals each year."

The full report can be viewed at

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