A SUNBURNED pony and a stabbed dog are some of the cases being highlighted as the RSPCA reveals it has boosted its cruelty convictions by almost a quarter.
The charity has revealed the number of people convicted for cruelty and neglect to animals rose by 23.5% in England and Wales last year.
And figures for the North of England show West Yorkshire as an animal cruelty hotspot.
The region had 216 reports of cruelty in 2011, with 82 defendants convicted.
The level of reports is over 50% higher than neighbouring Lancashire (139) and more than double that of North Yorkshire (101).
The level of convictions is also the highest in the North.
The shocking rise in cruelty has been unveiled as the animal charity launches its annual fundraising push – RSPCA Week 2012 (30 April to May 6).
Notable cases being highlighted in West Yorkshire include a pony found in a terrible condition on an old colliery site in Wakefield.
Three-year- old Amigo was spotted by a woman walking her dog on the site off Newmarket Lane in Stanley last June.
She called the RSPCA and managed to get him back to her own stable yard until an inspector arrived.
RSPCA inspector, Sally Wren, said: “It doesn't bear thinking about what would have happened if he hadn't been rescued when he was.
“He was suffering liver failure, possibly as a result of eating ragwort, which also makes the skin more sensitive to the sun, hence the badly sunburned skin. He was unable to stand and needed immediate veterinary attention.”