Animal cruelty cases reach five-year high in Wales
Convictions made by the RSPCA have reached a five-year high in Wales, with some people being caught after filming themselves carrying out the acts of cruelty.
In 2015, the animal charity secured 89 convictions, while the number for last year was almost double.
Offenders have been caught on camera or are openly filming themselves harming animals, the RSPCA said.
The charity called 2018 a year of "unimaginable cruelty".
Of the 164 convictions, one case involved two men who were given a suspended prison sentence after a cat was tossed in the air in a "cruel, dangerous and callous prank", which was filmed and posted on social media.
Two youths were also sentenced for a "senseless killing" after enticing a cat from under a car and setting a dog on it - the attack was caught on CCTV.
Martyn Hubbard, from RSPCA Cymru, described the cases as "shocking, disturbing and upsetting".
Vanessa Waddon, from Hope Rescue, a charity that deals with stray dogs, said animals were often neglected because of "vet fees".
She told BBC Radio Wales: "We had a puppy recently that was covered in lice and also had a broken leg, it was clearly abandoned because of the costs of fixing that leg."
- Two arrested after horse collapses
- Cat zipped in rucksack and dumped in bin
- Stolen dog found 300 miles from home
Of the convictions in 2018, 91 related to dogs, 37 to cats and 21 to horses and ponies.
Mr Hubbard said: "Our inspectorate dealt with some unimaginable cruelty - with some truly shocking, disturbing and upsetting cases captured on camera.
"Our message is clear, we will not tolerate animal cruelty in Wales."