09/15/2015 11:05 EDT | Updated 09/15/2015 11:59 EDT

Animal Cruelty Complaints In B.C. On The Rise, SPCA Says

In this Friday, May 2, 2014 photo, a neutered cat named "Phoebe" peers out of her enclosure as she recovers at the new American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) clinic at the Chesterfield Square shelter in South Los Angeles. The ASPCA has started rolling out one of its most ambitious projects to date, a $25 million push to save tens of thousands of dogs and cats that would be killed in shelters or on the streets of Los Angeles County. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The B.C. SPCA says animal cruelty complaints are on the rise in the province, with over 8,800 investigations in 2014 alone.

That number is up roughly 1,000 than what was recorded the year before.

Spokesperson Lorie Chortyk told 24 Hours Vancouver the number of investigations this year has increased again, with a definite increase regarding dogs and cats.

“The ones that are the most heartbreaking are when there are people that are just deliberately inflicting torture on animals,” she said.

BC SPCA head Mark Takhar said reports of cruelty to horses is also on the rise.

“Mostly I think it has to do with neglect, when there are malnourished horses.”

But Shawn Eccles, the group’s senior investigations manager told News 1130 that more reports don’t necessarily mean there is more animal abuse.

“I think it’s just a matter of people [being] more aware of what’s going on around them and the fact that they can report it,” he said.

Eccles said opening a call centre has made it easier to field complaints.

The group held their annual Paws for a Cause: Walk to Fight Animal Cruelty event on Saturday to raise funds for their animal cruelty initiatives and investigations.

The BC SPCA's animal cruelty hotline is 1-855-622-7722.


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