PROSECUTIONS for animal cruelty hit a four-year high in Wales as the RSPCA continue to tackle the issue. 

In the Vale of Glamorgan 309 complaints of animal cruelty were investigated by RSPCA Cymru in 2017. 

A case in Barry saw a woman prosecuted after leaving two American bulldogs to suffer after neglecting them in a property. 

Both dogs were found in a skeletal-like state.

One dog’s whole bone structure was visible. They had also been left with long nails and stained coats.  

Emma Smith, RSPCA inspector, said: “These poor dogs were found in a truly horrendous condition. 

“The Barry property where they were left unattended was filthy. Faeces was found across the floor and household furniture had been chewed up by the dogs.” 

The owner was disqualified from keeping dogs for four years, given a 12-month community order and ordered to do 80 hours unpaid work. She was told to pay £300 in costs and an £85 victim surcharge.  

The number of convictions for animal cruelty in 2017 rose to 148 compared to 120 in 2016. 

RSPCA Cymru’s superintendent Martyn Hubbard said: “It is extremely shocking and deeply saddening to see this level of horrific cruelty across Wales.

“The number of convictions secured now stand at a four-year high in Wales, with our inspectors dealing with disturbing and unique cases of deliberate abuse towards helpless animals.

“This evidence understandably causes great distress and public outcry.

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

“There is just no excuse for animal cruelty and will continue to ensure animal welfare laws are adhered to. 

“The nature of cases dealt with by our frontline officers throughout 2017 once again demonstrates the importance of this work, and the necessity of securing justice for abused and neglected animals in all corners of the country.” 

To report any instances where it is suspected that an animal is in need of help call the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.