THOUSANDS of animals were treated cruelly in Kent last Christmas, according RSPCA data. The charity received 3,123 calls relating to harm, negligence and distress in December 2016 and January 2017, including 406 in Medway area alone.
With 153 calls Tunbridge Wells was bottom of the list while Tonbridge (261) and Sevenoaks (243) ranked mid-table.
The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) released the data as part of its Kindness at Christmas Appeal, which also included the release of a video advertisement.
The charity is braced for 2,000 calls a day during the climax of the festive season.
Simon Osborne, RSPCA superintendent, said: “During the Christmas period alone last year, we rescued more than 25,000 animals, many of whom had been cruelly abandoned, injured or abused.
“But we also saw so many acts of kindness by animal lovers and we are asking animal lovers across the country to support our winter appeal.”
Within the South East, 13,265 incidents were reported to the charity during last December and January, with 366 happening on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Nationwide the charity received 118,799 calls during the period, which works out as 1.3 every minute.
Mr Osborne added: “It’s a sad fact that every day at work throughout the year can be tough for our inspectors and animal welfare and collection officers.
“But winter really does come with its own challenges and issues and we expect to take in somewhere in the region of 19,000 animals this winter alone.
“We are asking animal lovers across the country to show kindness this Christmas by supporting our winter appeal.”
To find out more visit www.rspca.org.uk/winterappeal