Cruelty rates rise

Complaints of animal cruelty in Northumberland have risen in the latest 12 months, according to latest figures from the RSPCA.

The new figures show that despite the number of allegations going up, the number of people prosecuted or charged has dropped.

In 2014 nine people were convicted in Northumberland, and there were 19 convictions, compared with ten and 17 the previous year.

However, one person who faced court proceedings was a 22-year-old from Blyth who allowed two puppies and a cat to die in her home weeks after being disqualified from keeping animals.

RSPCA Inspector Claire Hunt said: “It was one of those moments when you just dread what you’re going to find.”

The woman pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and was disqualified from keeping animals for ten years, given a ten week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, a 12 month supervision order and £150 costs.