Levels of deliberate cruelty to pets have reached a shocking new high - with parts of the south east close to the top of what the RSPCA is describing a 'league of shame'.
The animal welfare charity investigated six thousand more cases than the previous year.
Kent has been revealed today as the fifth worst offending county in the country.
Essex is eighth.
Across the south-east cases of cruelty and neglect rose by almost six percent.
ITV Meridian spoke to RSPCA Inspector Ed Halligan.
A pet owner has been banned from keeping all animals for five years.
He admitted owning a cat, found abandoned in a park with severe head injuries.
Joshua Penrice’s kitten, Chilli, was found by a member of the public in the Berryfield area of Aylesbury in April this year.
The black male kitten was taken to a vet who discovered a number of trauma injuries. He had swelling to the front of his head and his nose was bleeding.
The RSPCA were contacted, and Penrice admitted kicking and abandoning Chilli.
The 22-year-old, of Chilton Street, was handed the ban on keeping animals, along with a £60 victim surcharge, ordered to pay £500 costs and carry out 140 hours of unpaid work in the community.
The RSPCA said: “Chilli is still very timid and is clearly still showing signs of the cruelty he suffered. However, he is now in a new home with a new owner and is making good progress.”
A couple from Kent have been fined and told to do unpaid work after failing to get treatment from a vet after their cocker spaniel ate an umbrella. The dog, Paddy has since been treated and is now on the road to recovery.
A couple from Kent, whose cocker spaniel had tried to eat an umbrella, have been fined and told to do unpaid work after a court heard that they had decided they could not pay the vet bill and would rather watch their dog die .
38 year old Richard Pugsly, and his wife 37 year old Rachel Pugsly, from Greenhithe were both charged with two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and two counts of failing to get vet treatment.
The dog, who is two years old, has successfully been treated and he has now been rehomed.
Magistrates sentenced Mr and Mrs Pugsly to 100 hours of unpaid work . Richard Pugsly was told to pay £1000 costs, his wife was told to pay £60.
We are supposedly a nation of animal lovers - but the latest cruelty figures from the RSPCA are in sharp contrast to that ideal. The charity says more animals than ever before are having to be rescued, and more people are being prosecuted. David Johns reports.
VIDEO: We've been to visit Hero, the Rottweiler that was abandoned and tied up in freezing conditions. Charlotte Wilkins met Hero, Will Jenkins, pub landlord's son and Tony Pritchard, RSPCA Inspector.
The latest figures from the RSPCA show a large rise in the number of people convicted for animal cruelty in the South East.