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  1. ITV Report

A rising tide of animal cruelty

Rise in cruelty to dogs across the region Photo: ITV Central News

The number of people convicted of cruelty and neglect to animals rose dramatically last year according to figures from the RSPCA.

As well as a rise in those convicted under the Animal Welfare Act and other legislation, bans on keeping animals also increased in 2011, along with the number of prison sentences imposed for animal cruelty.

WARNING: THE FULL REPORT SHOWS PICTURES OF ANIMALS IN DISTRESS.

The RSPCA's latest figures reveal:

In the East:

  • 52% rise in people convicted for cruelty and neglect. 153 in 2010 - 232 in 2011
  • 83% rise in convictions in relation to cruelty to dogs. 193 in 2010 - 353 in 2011
  • 15 prison sentences in East compared to 12 in 2010

In the West Midlands:

  • 24% rise in people convicted for cruelty to neglect. 155 in 2010 - 192 in 2011.
  • 35% rise in convictions relating to cruelty to dogs. 296 in 2010- 399 in 2011
  • 20 prison sentences imposed by courts compared to 19 in 2010

In Leicestershire, a border collie spent a number of days in intensive care after she was stabbed 13 times and then left to die.

Bonnie was found bleeding and wounded in a street by a member of the public on the border of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire last May.

Bonnie the Border Collie survived being stabbed thirteen times Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA was contacted and collected Bonnie, taking her straight to a vet. It was touch and go if she would pull through.

But, after life-saving surgery, she made a complete recovery.

Lisa Smith, the manager at Woodside Animal Centre, nursed Bonnie back to health. She says Bonnie's story captured the heart of everyone.

"She is such a wonderful dog, it was heartbreaking to think she had been treated in such a cruel way."

Bonnie the Border Collie survived being stabbed thirteen times Credit: John Willats

"it was heartbreaking to think she had been treated in such a cruel way"

Despite following up a number of leads, the RSPCA was unable to trace the person responsible for the stabbing of Bonnie, and the case was closed.

Bonnie was taken in by Rosy and Terry Curtis, who live in the north of Leicestershire, following an appeal by the RSPCA.

Mrs Curtis said: "Bonnie is an amazing dog and she is such a great character despite all she has been through.

"She does have a few little unusual habits, but she has settled well with our family and we cannot imagine life without her now."