The tough economic climate is being blamed for a huge rise in animal cruelty across the South. Latest figures for the Meridian region show the number of people sent to prison for abusing animals has risen by 86% compared to last year. Convictions for cruelty to dogs has risen by more than a third.
The RSPCA's figures show 18% more people have been banned form keeping animals compared to 2010. The RSPCA has said it will continue to show zero-tolerance to animal abusers.
The charity are raising awareness ahead of its annual RSPCA Week. This year it runs from 30 April to 6 May. To find out how to get involved please visit www.rspcaweek.org.
To run the RSPCA's 365 days a year service costs more than £124 million and it cost £15 per day to feed, house and provide medical attention for just one of the 7,762 dogs the RSPCA cared for in 2011.