RSPCA receives 924 reports of deliberate cruelty to animals in Bucks over five years

Cancel Out Cruelty campaign launched to keep RSPCA rescue teams out on the front line saving animals in need and end deliberate mistreatment

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 1:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 1:48 pm

The RSPCA has launched a new campaign to ‘Cancel Out Cruelty’ as new figures released yesterday, Monday, show there were 924 reports of deliberate cruelty to animals in Buckinghamshire in the last five years.

The charity released the figures, which you can view on an interactive Cruelty Map, as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, to raise funds to keep its rescue teams out on the front line saving animals in desperate need of help and to raise awareness about how we can all help stamp out cruelty for good.

The RSPCA gets around 84,000 calls to its cruelty line every month and around 1,500 of those are about intentional cruelty. But the charity sees a rise in the summer by around 400 calls on average per month - which equates to 47 calls every day or two every hour.

The RSPCA gets around 84,000 calls to its cruelty line every month and around 1,500 of those are about intentional cruelty

July is a particularly busy month for investigating cruelty - last year the RSPCA dealt with a spike in intentional cruelty as 1,532 incidents were called through to its emergency helpline and the charity is expecting a similar spike this July.

Beatings, knife crime, drowning and intentional killing are just some of the horrific incidents RSPCA animal rescuers deal with every day.

Dermot Murphy, head of RSPCA animal rescue teams, said: “We always sadly see a rise in cruelty during the summer months. As well as more people being out and about in the longer sunny days, seeing and reporting abuse, we feel there are a number of factors which contribute to this rise.

“Unfortunately, the hot summer days can lead to more people drinking alcohol in the sun, which can be a factor in causing violence.

"There could also be boredom during the long holidays and more pressures at home. When the whole family is on holiday from school and work, existing difficulties in the home can be magnified.

"During these hot months, calls to our cruelty line rise, putting more pressure on our already stretched frontline rescue teams.

“Police forces reported a rise in domestic violence last year during lockdown and we are concerned that similar pressures which led to this rise may also have impacted on more cruelty to animals behind closed doors during the pandemic.

“The past year has seen a reportedly huge rise in pet ownership and we know most people would not dream of harming an animal.

"However, we are concerned that, as we come out of lockdown and people return to their jobs outside the home or suffer financial pressures, we will see more animals suffer if their owners find themselves unable to cope.

“We are urging people in Buckinghamshire to support our campaign to Cancel Out Cruelty so we can all work together to end cruelty towards animals.

“We urge anyone who wants to report animal cruelty to us to call our hotline on 0300 1234 999.”

One of the incidents of cruelty the RSPCA has dealt with in Buckinghamshire concerned a man who hit his dog with a metal chain in Aylesbury, causing the dog to cry out in pain.The man was prosecuted by the RSPCA and was sentenced to 40 hours of community work, ordered to pay £400 costs and banned from keeping dogs for three years. The dog did not suffer any long-term injuries and was taken into RSPCA care to be rehomed.

National facts and statistics

In 2020 the RSPCA received 354,784 calls toits cruelty hotline during the summer months (June- August) about all kinds of cruelty and neglect.

In 2020 the charity received 4,339 reports about intentional cruelty during the summer months (June-August) - around 47 a day or two an hour.

July is the busiest month for investigating complaints - last year the RSPCA received 34,550 calls during the month. The average number of calls a month last year was 25,072.

In 2020 the RSPCA received 8,214 calls about someone beating an animal - that’s 22 a day - almost one an hour. This was an increase from 2019 when it received 5,757 calls about someone beating an animal.

It also received 1,496 calls about improper killing in 2020 - an increase from 964 in 2019.

The RSPCA has had almost 100,000 reports of intentional harm to animals over the last five years.

Every day the RSPCA has six reports of people killing or attempting to kill animals.

The RSPCA’s interactive Cruelty Hotspot map shows how many reports of intentional cruelty to animals the charity has received for each county in the last five years.

The RSPCA’s rescue teams need financial support to stay out on the frontline as the only charity rescuing animals and investigating cruelty.

£6 could help pay to feed a dog for a day in RSPCA care, while £500 could kit out a 4x4 RSPCA inspector van.

To donate to the Cancel Out Cruelty campaign and help the charity continue to rescue animals in need, visit