MORE counts of animal cruelty were recorded in Warrnambool than in any other council area in the south-west last year, new figures show.
RSPCA Victoria recorded 76 animal cruelty cases in the city in 2018-2019, up 18.75 per cent on the year before.
In Moyne Shire there were 65 reported cases (up 32 per cent from 2017-18), 59 in Corangamite Shire (down nine per cent), 42 in Glenelg Shire (up 13 per cent) and 37 in Southern Grampians Shire (up 19 per cent).
The numbers while shocking, fare much lower than Greater Geelong which earned the unenviable title of highest volume of cruelty reports in the state, with 617 incidents tallied for the same period.
In May last year south-west farm manager Nicole Rowe pleaded guilty to four consolidated charges of animal cruelty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court after failing to administer pain killers to two ewes before conducting C-sections and stitching up their wounds with dental floss.
Animals left without enough food, water and shelter made up almost 60 per cent of cruelty cases reported to Victorian authorities, while dogs made up the bulk of cases.
Neglect topped the RSPCA Victoria chart for the fourth year in a row, with 6672 animal cruelty cases involving not enough food, water and shelter in 2018-19.
There were 11,638 animal cruelty reports through the state in the same period.
"Neglect is a form of cruelty, and it is heartbreaking to know so many animals continue to suffer across our state due to lack of basic care," RSPCA Victoria chief executive Liz Walker said.
"The individuals who make these reports give voice to vulnerable animals who can't speak for themselves."
More than 3700 reports were made to the animal welfare's inspectorate about hygiene, grooming and housing conditions, with 3274 concerns of underweight animals.
Concerns about sick and injured animals not receiving veterinary treatment, wounded and beaten animals and abandoned animals were also raised.
Dogs and puppies made up the most cruelty reports at 7301, with horses taking 2340 ahead of cats and kittens at 1930, the data reveals.
Inspectors issued 574 notices to comply, laid 712 charges against 87 people and finalised 94 prosecutions.
At the end of the financial year, 117 cases were still before the courts.
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