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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North east crime writer Mari Hannah is ending 2016 on a high - her Detective series has caught the eye of Stephen Fry's production company!
A primary school in Durham has had some help with their Christmas concert from a chart-topper and his musical friends.
Durham FA has confirmed it is investigating the incident after an FA Vase Cup game between Newton Aycliffe and Morpeth Town on December 3.