The West Midlands saw more than 6,800 cases of animal cruelty during 2016, new RSPCA figures have revealed.
The region saw 6,834 investigated cases – up 3.8% from 2015.
The RSPCA’s figures put the West Midlands fourth in the overall animal cruelty table, with Greater London (11,812), West Yorkshire (7,920) and Greater Manchester (7,708) with higher numbers.
Dermot Murphy, Assistant Director of the RSPCA Inspectorate, said the figures showed people were not prepared to stand by and watch animals suffer.
“I believe that the figures from last year show that we’re not becoming crueler, but that people are simply less willing to stand by and do nothing if they think an animal is suffering.
“People are increasingly likely to share images or footage on their social media accounts of animals they believe are not being cared for properly, while many will see material their friends have shared and then contact us about them.
“Either way, 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 national figures showed that the RSPCA received 1,153,744 calls to its cruelty hotline and investigated almost 150,000 complaints of alleged animal cruelty.
The charity prosecuted 744 people in total.
Among the cases investigated in Birmingham was an eight-month-old puppy found tethered with a carabiner hook through his neck in Stechford.
The treatment of the Presa Canaria called Rex shocked even experienced RSPCA inspector Herchy Boal.
“I’ve never in all my 16 years an inspector known anything like this,” Herchy said. “Rex was tethered in the garden with this carabiner hook – most commonly used in climbing – which went through his skin.
“Rex would have been in so much pain. The holes where the hook had gone through became infected.
“The vet who examined Rex said they had been like that for at least three days and the skin had started to regrow around the carabiner.”
The dog’s owner was disqualified from keeping animals for ten years, given an 18-month community order and made to pay £300 costs.
Rex was cared for at the RSPCA’s Newbrook Farm in Birmingham before being rehired.