The RSPCA investigated 2,787 complaints about animal cruelty in Cheshire last year – with eight new animal welfare concerns being looked into by local inspectors every day.

The figure has been released as part of the charity’s annual Cruelty Statistics, which shows that complaints in Cheshire increased in 2017, from 2,778 complaints made in 2016.

Nationally, 141,760 complaints about animal welfare were investigated in 2017.

Cases investigated by the RSPCA in Cheshire last year included:

Two severely emaciated Staffordshire terrier-type breeds were found living in conditions described as ‘atrocious’;

A dog who needed reconstructive surgery on his jaw after he was found with severe injuries consistent with badger baiting.

Ellesmere Port couple who let their dogs starve banned from keeping animals

The most calls received related to dogs (1,575), followed by cats (582) and then equines (279).

Brett Witchalls, the RSPCA’s chief inspector for the county, said: “Animal cruelty horrifies much of today’s society and this figure tells us that there are suffering animals in the county who need our help every day.

“We are very grateful to everyone who takes the time to raise concerns. A call from a member of the public not only helps to give a voice to animals in desperate need but it helps our officers investigate and help bring animal abusers to justice.

“It is shocking that people can be capable of such deliberate brutality towards animals, but equally it drives us on to ensure that perpetrators of animal cruelty are put before the courts.

“Either way, our officers are under increased pressure having to respond to more calls and investigate more complaints, but it is thanks to their dedication, as well as RSPCA staff and volunteers that we are able to transform the lives of thousands of animals in Cheshire each year.”

This year, the RSPCA is focusing on the plight of horses as animal rescuers and welfare charities struggle to cope with an ongoing equine crisis.

The charity’s Cruelty Statistics reveal that nationally, nearly 1,000 horses were rescued by the charity from cruelty, suffering and neglect last year (2017), and a staggering 928 horses are still in the charity’s care.

The national horse crisis, which charities first highlighted in 2012, has since seen RSPCA officers routinely called out to abandoned horses every day up and down the country, with many of them extremely sick, dead or dying on arrival.

If you are concerned about an animal’s welfare, you can report this to the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 .