Figures from the RSPCA show cases of cruelty to pets and livestock have increased in the North East by almost ten percent.
The charity's inspectors say the recession has lead to even more animals being abandoned and badly treated. Caution: You may find some of the images in this report upsetting.
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The boys, aged 15 and 13, had got into difficulties while swimming off the beach at Skinningrove.
Jason Gillespie is to leave his position as coach at Yorkshire County Cricket Club at the end of the 2016 season.
Paralympic athlete Stephen Miller, from Cramlington, is on his way to Rio to compete in the games.