The number of people convicted of animal cruelty and neglect in England and Wales rose by nearly a quarter last year, the RSPCA said Tuesday, warning that it was being stretched to "breaking point."
Cases highlighted by the organization include a dog being stabbed repeatedly with a potato peeler and a blind kitten dumped in a carrier bag.
RSPCA figures show 1,341 people were convicted in 2011 for cruelty and neglect under the Animal Welfare Act — a 23.5 percent rise on the previous year.
The charity says the "crisis" is pushing its resources to the limit. Last year it received more than 1.3 million phone calls, while 3,036 people were reported to its prosecutions department.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant called on local authorities and members of the public to help in "getting justice for Britain's abused animals."
"The RSPCA faces a crisis that is stretching us to breaking point," he said.
"We show zero tolerance to animal abusers. Anyone causing animals pain for profit or pleasure will be tracked down and prosecuted."
Other cases cited by the organisation include a "house of horror" where five animals died of starvation, and two cases where "tens of dogs were kept in squalid conditions."
Some 1,100 people were banned from owning pets last year, while 74 people were jailed for animal cruelty — an increase of 21 percent — the figures show.
The RSPCA says it has helped many of the abused animals recover, however, including Maggie May, a lurcher-type dog, who was left to die after two men broke her back and stabbed her with a potato peeler.
The cases have been brought to light ahead of RSPCA Week 2012, a fundraising drive which runs from April 30 to May 6.
Copyright 2012 AFP European Edition