Despite being a nation of, so called, animal lovers - new figures from the RSPCA show cruelty cases in the South is still at shocking levels.
There have been more than 250 convictions for animal cruelty in our region in the past 12 months.
However, that is down from almost 300 cases in 2012. Hampshire has seen the most cruelty cases. With almost 100 people prosecuted in the last year.
Inspectors say they're dealing with far too many "horrendous" cases, as David Johns reports.
The RSPCA says new figures on the amount of cruelty to animals in the south and south east is shocking. Inspectors say they're dealing with far too many "horrendous" cases. In Kent the number of defendants convicted rose from 62 in 2012 to 65 in 2013 - a 5% increase.
The figures are detailed in the charity's Prosecution Annual Report, out today. It shows that there were 215 defendants convicted in the south east in 2013, exactly the same as 2012.
Kent was sixth highest area in the country, while Essex was tenth.
Some of the shocking cases included Florence the shih-tzu from Brighton, who was so badly neglected her paws dropped off, and a shar pei named Ruby who was kicked, punched and dragged along a pavement in Kent before she died.
ITV Meridian spoke to Insp Caroline Doe from the RSPCA.
Now they may look grumpy but you could help to put a smile on their faces...The RSPCA is looking for families that could take on some of their lovable characters including Blue the rabbit, Xiu the cat and Gertie the horse.
An elderly vulnerable dog has been abandoned and tied to railings in Oxford.
The dog has two tumours the size of apples and was found dumped along a path between Cowley Road and Cricket Road at 5pm on Wednesday 23rd April by a school girl.
The dog was taken to the girl's home and given a bath when the two lumps were found.
The vet said that she was suffering from two ruptured mammary tumours and they said he condition had been deemed so serious that it would be best to put her to sleep to end her suffering.
RSPCA inspector Andy Eddy said: “Tumours this size would have been incredibly painful for poor Lara - she must have been suffering a great deal. If she had received treatment sooner, we may have been able to save her."
Two Hampshire girls have raised more than £200 for the RSPCA - after spending 24 hours in a kennel. Lily Blench and Hollie Bertie, both aged 12,from Alderholt, Hampshire spend 24 hours in the kennel built by Lily’s dad Chris.
Lily and Holly had magazines and colouring pens to keep them entertained, and Chris delivered food to them to keep them going.
Lily Blench said: “Doing the challenge made us think about all the dogs and any other animals that are shut outside on cold nights. At least we had food, drink and knew we are loved.”
A man from Uckfield has been jailed for 12 weeks after he cut off an eight-week-old puppy's tail.
Walter Doe, who is 24 years old, from Campbell Close in Uckfield was also banned from keeping all animals for 10 years.
The RSPCA were called in July last year and found the Jack Russell puppy with a bandage around his tail and in obvious pain.
The vet said the wound was very clean-cut wound and must have been made with a sharp tool.
The prison sentence reflects how seriously the court took the suffering caused to the puppy. We have no proof about what was used to dock Jack’s tail, but whether it was a knife or a pair of scissors, he would have been in agony. Cutting through the bone of the tail must have been excruciatingly painful and no attempt at all was made to relieve this pain.Tail docking is such a brutal way to treat a young animal in any case. As well as the pain is causes, it is just completely unnecessary and deprives the animal of their best means of expression and balance.”
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The RSPCA are appealing for information after a cat was shot in the head in Surrey.
A member of the public found the cat staggering around The Greenway in Epsom, with blood coming out from its ear last Thursday.
The tabby and white male cat was taken to the vets, where it was sadly decided to put the cat to sleep as the damage was too severe.
The cat was also not micro chipped, therefore the owners have not been contacted to let them know what has happened.
RSPCA inspector Maxine Jones said, "This poor cat had clearly been targeted in this callous attack. He would have suffered a great deal and sadly could not be saved.
"Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999."
John Baron, the Basildon MP, is one man who wants to see electric shock collars banned and ITV Meridian's Fred Dinenage asked him why.
Campaigners for animal rights in the south east are tonight backing calls to ban electric shock collars, used to train dogs and even cats. The devices, which are freely on sale, are said to cause pain, fear and distress to the animals instead of rewarding them for good behaviour.
But the people who make, sell and use the collars say they're a valuable training aid that can help to control dogs when they're distracted or at a distance from the owner.
David Johns has been looking at the pros and cons, speaking to the RSPCA's Sam Gaines, and FieldsportsChannel.tv's Charlie Jacoby.