More than 1,900 cases of animal cruelty in Cornwall were investigated by the RSPCA in 2016, but only eight people were convicted.
The horrendous cases included a couple of adorable kittens dumped and left for dead in an underpass in Penzance and a horse left with an ulcer under its eye and a severe leg injury with the bone exposed.
The RSPCA released the statistics showing that the number of animal cruelty cases in Cornwall has increased from 1,906 in 2015 to 1,957 in 2016.
But the RSPCA said the figures were not necessarily negative as the increase in investigations could simply show that people were becoming more aware of animal cruelty and less willing to ignore it.
Dermot Murphy, assistant director of the RSPCA inspectorate, said: “I believe that the figures from last year show that we’re not becoming crueller but that people are simply less willing to stand by and do nothing if they think an animal is suffering.”
Across the whole of the South West the RSPCA said it has investigated 27,019 cases, up more than 5% on the previous year.
Dermot added: “People might see these figures as a negative, and I certainly take no cheer from knowing that any animal has suffered. What I do take pride in is knowing that because of the RSPCA’s intervention we have prevented many more animals from suffering at the hands of those who we have successfully investigated and brought before the courts.”
But despite almost 2,000 investigations taking place, just eight people were convicted of animal cruelty in Cornwall last year.
The two videos below were used in the conviction of a gang of men in Devon in December 2016, who used their dogs to carry out “abhorrent” attacks on wild animals, ripping them apart. The men were convicted with some of them jailed.
Warning: these videos contain distressing images