The RSPCA's animal caseload rose to nearly 150,000 investigations in 2016, nearly a 5% increase in calls to the cruelty hotline.
With the number of calls reaching more than 400 a day, the number of investigations of animal cruelty cases undertaken by the RSPCA increased by nearly 5%, according to recent figures from the animal welfare charity.
The charity's assistant director, Dermot Murphy expressed his thoughts that the rise in animal cruelty reports is not due to an increase in animal cruelty, but in fact an increase in awareness due to animal abuse images being shared across social media platforms.
He states: “I believe that the figures from last year show that we’re not becoming crueller, but that people are simply less willing to stand by and do nothing if they think an animal is suffering. People are increasingly likely to share images or footage on their social media accounts of animals they believe are not being cared for properly, while many will see material their friends have shared and then contact us about them."
In 2016, a grand total of 149,604 complaints of animal abuse were investigated by the RSPCA, many of which the charity's assistant director believes are a direct result of increased awareness due to social media and viral images and videos.