Animal cruelty: Rocky is one of the lucky ones

Rocky, the dog who survived after being shot six times and hit with a spade, enjoys his new home with new owners Rebecca Doy and Darren Clarke
Rocky, the dog who survived after being shot six times and hit with a spade, enjoys his new home with new owners Rebecca Doy and Darren Clarke

The number of people convicted of cruelty to animals in Northamptonshire is rising.

The figures are revealed in the RSPCA’s Prosecutions Annual Report, which was published yesterday.

The figure for the Midlands is down, with 448 people being convicted of animal cruelty in 2012 compared with 406 in 2013.

However in Northamptonshire the number of people convicted rose from 21 in 2012 to 28 in 2013.

The West Midlands topped the Midland region’s charts with the highest number of people convicted at 90, but it was down slightly on the previous year’s figure of 98.

Officers in the Midlands investigated more than 400 more complaints in 2013, compared to 2012.

The charity’s officers in the Midlands investigated 47,858 complaints in 2013 compared to 47,426 in 2012.

Nationally, 153,770 complaints of cruelty were investigated by RSPCA inspectors, an increase from 150,833 in 2012.

David Bowles, head of external affairs at the RSPCA, said: “While we are heartened that the numbers of convictions have decreased in most areas, the fact that we are investigating more and more complaints shows that there is still a culture of cruelty.”

The national figures show dogs were still the most likely to be involved in cruelty cases, with 2,505 related convictions, slightly down on 2012, when the figure was 2,568.

The RSPCA also emerged as the country’s biggest dog rescuer, collecting more than 17,500 dogs in 2013.

Mr Bowles added: “Although there have been fewer convictions relating to dogs, we are still rescuing more and more and the fact is that the RSPCA takes in some of the most needy dogs – we don’t pick and choose by breed or by the desperate lives that they’ve lived before they came to us.

“I think we should be proud that, despite taking in some very damaged animals, we rehomed an incredible 55,323 animals in 2013.”

The RSPCA’s success rate– defined as the number of convictions secured compared to the number of cases taken to court – was 97.9 per cent in 2013. This is the same as it was in 2012.

Happy ending for Rocky

One of the cases dealt with by the RSPCA in Northamptonshire last year involved Rocky, a tan crossbreed, who was shot five times, hit on the head with a shovel and dumped in a ditch by his owner Marc Turnbull, of Dainty Grove, Northampton.

He survived and was found after three days by a council litter picker.

Turnbull was jailed for 20 weeks for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and banned from owning a pet for 20 years.

Rocky has been re-homed with Rebecca Doy and Darren Clarke in Burton Latimer.

Ms Doy said: “Rocky has got a brilliant temperament.

“Everybody who sees him falls in love with him. He’s very good natured.

“It’s amazing he’s like he is after all he’s been through.”