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.
More top news
Italian vodka, suspicious sediment and antifreeze sold as spirits are among the potential danger signs for shoppers stocking up on alcohol.
A North East photographer came into the studio earlier to talk about being shortlisted for a prestigious award.
A look ahead over the festive period.