1. ITV Report

Animal cruelty prosecutions hit 4 year high in Wales

Spongebob the Jack Russell after his rescue. Credit: RSPCA Cymru

Prosecutions against animal cruelty in Wales have hit a four year high.

RSPCA Cymru made 148 convictions for animal cruelty last year.

That compares to:

  • 120 convictions in 2016
  • 89 convictions in 2015
  • 116 convictions in 2014

It is extremely shocking and deeply saddening to see this level of horrific cruelty across Wales.

Thankfully due to valuable information being reported to us in confidence, we are able to investigate and bring any animal welfare offenders to justice.

– RSPCA Cymru’s superintendent Martyn Hubbard

One of the shocking cases from 2017 is that of a Jack Russell named Spongebob.

He was found by a RSPCA inspector with his leg missing.

Spongebob was found with his leg missing and the wound infected. Credit: RSPCA Cymru

I was so shocked.

He would have been in agony.

We don’t know what had happened - but it was suggested that he may have had an issue with his foot and then chewed it off.

– RSPCA inspector Fred Armstrong

Spongebob's former owner, a man from Deeside, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal by failing to provide adequate veterinary attention to his foot.

He was given a 12 week community order and made to wear an electronic tag between 7am and 7pm.

The court also banned him from keeping dogs for 10 years.

Spongebob has since made a recovery and has found a new home.

Spongebob in his new home. Credit: RSPCA Cymru

The RSPCA says many of their investigations involve horses.

One case involved what an RSPCA inspector described as the “worst case of overgrown hooves” he had to deal with in 18 years on the job.

2017 saw 17 convictions in relation to horses in Wales. Credit: RSPCA Cymru

The court heard how a group of 5 ponies’ hooves had not been attended to for 10 months.

A man from St David’s was given an 18 week prison sentence, suspended for two years for failing to provide proper care for his ponies.

He was also banned from keeping horses for five years.