ESSEX is an animal cruelty hotspot, newly released figures from the RSCPA have revealed.

The animal charity launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign this week as new figures show how many reports of intentional harm to animals the charity received last year.

And a report into the past five years revealed Essex is one of the ten cruelty hotspots in England and Wales.

Over this period, the charity has received 2,623 reports of intentional cruelty to animals in the county - making it the ninth highest area for animal cruelty reports.

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Among the incidents of cruelty the RSPCA has dealt with in Essex is that of a Yorkshire terrier who was killed by his owner in Colchester after being hit with a broom when the dog made a mess in the kitchen.

An x-ray showed the dog suffered from a fractured skull and a brain injury.

The RSPCA prosecuted a man over the offence and he was banned from owning dogs for three years, ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay £390 costs.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Picture: RSPCAPicture: RSPCA

Now, the charity’s campaign seeks to raise funds to keep rescue teams out on the frontline saving animals in desperate need of help and to raise awareness about how we can all help stamp out cruelty for good.

Topping the newly released list was Greater London, where 8,565 incidents occurred between 2016 and 2020, followed by Greater Manchester, with 4,690 incidents, and West Yorkshire, with 4,216.

In total, the charity receives about 84,000 calls to its cruelty line a month and about 1,500 of those are about intentional cruelty.

Beatings, knife crime, drowning and intentional killing are just some of the horrific incidents RSPCA animal rescuers deal with every day.

Dermot Murphy, head of RSPCA animal rescue teams, said: “We always sadly see a rise in cruelty during the summer months.

“As well as more people being out and about in the longer sunny days, seeing and reporting abuse, we feel there are a number of factors which contribute to this rise.

“Unfortunately, the hot summer days can lead to more people drinking alcohol in the sun which can be a factor in causing violence.

“There could also be boredom during the long holidays and more pressures at home - when the whole family is on holiday from school and work, existing difficulties in the home can be magnified.

“Police forces reported a rise in domestic violence last year during lockdown and we are concerned that similar pressures which led to this rise may also have impacted on more cruelty to animals behind closed doors during the pandemic.

“We are urging people in Essex to support our campaign to Cancel Out Cruelty so we can all work together to end cruelty towards animals.”

To report animal cruelty you should call 0300 1234 999.

To donate to the Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, visit