Dogs in Oxfordshire are four times more likely to be the victims of deliberate cruelty compared to cats, new figures show.

While there are estimated to be 12 million dogs and 12 million cats being kept as pets in the UK, dogs are much more likely to face cruelty from their owners than their feline counterparts.

New research released by the RSPCA today, as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, shows between 2016 and 2020 63,881 incidents of intentional harm involving dogs were reported to the RSPCA’s cruelty line. This is equal to 34 dogs a day or one every hour across England and Wales.

In 2020 alone there were 7,691 reports of intentional harm against dogs.

Across the South East, the charity’s officers investigated 1,244 incidents of deliberate cruelty towards dogs in 2020.

In Oxfordshire this included 72 incidents of deliberate cruelty towards canines, more than one incident a week.

In the region, Kent saw the highest number of incidents (233) while the Isle of Wight saw the lowest (16).

What is the picture across the country? 

Incidents of intentional harm: 

Dog - 63,881

Cat - 14,825

Equine -3,226

Rabbit - 811

READ MORE: These furry friends are looking for forever homes

The RSPCA’s campaign aims to raise funds to keep its rescue teams on the frontline saving animals in desperate need of help as well as raise awareness about how the public can work together to stamp out cruelty for good.