THE West Midlands is one of the worst counties in the country for animal cruelty and neglect cases, after the RSPCA revealed a 46 per cent rise in one year.
The shocking figures report that 98 people in the region were convicted by animal welfare charity the RSPCA last year, compared to 67 in 2011.
Neighbouring Warwickshire had just nine convictions both last year and in 2011.
The West Midlands’ increase was 12 per cent higher than the national average rise of 34 per cent, and had the sixth highest number of convictions of England’s 48 counties, with Greater London topping the list at a staggering 250, followed by Kent with 211.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “The RSPCA is leading the fight against a growing animal cruelty crisis.
“For us, prosecution is always the last resort. Our inspectors investigated 150,833 suspected cruelty cases and issued 78,090 advice notices last year.
“However if there is evidence of a crime and serious animal abuse then we will take legal action to protect the animals and prevent further abuse. We also want to see judges taking these offences far more seriously.”
Among cases heard at Solihull Magistrates in recent years include a man who poured a kettle of boiling water on his dad’s dog, because it had “eaten his crisps”. Another owner was prosecuted for neglect of a Shetland Pony tied up in a field in Houndsfield Lane, near Shirley.
A third incident saw a couple banned from keeping animals for life after 12 puppies were discovered locked in cages.
For more information, visit www.rspca.org.uk.