An animal cruelty case in Whitby is one of the worst the RSCPA had to deal with last year.
The organisation dealt with 17,038 complaints of animal cruelty in 2015 from the county of Yorkshire alone and just over 3,000 for North Yorkshire.
As the figures were released, the brutal killing of four eight-week-old black and white kittens near Whitby was picked out as one of the most horrific incidents.
John Stephen Akrill (47) was jailed for 20 weeks at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court in March of last year.
He had admitted causing unnecessary suffering by killing the kittens in an inhumane and inappropriate manner.
Ackrill was also banned from keeping animals for life.
The court heard he had strangled the kittens before hitting them over the head with a hammer to make sure that they were dead.
The bloody bodies of the kittens were found by police in Akrill’s bin.
Ackrill committed the act to get back at his then partner after a row but claimed he killed them as they had cat flu.
However, no evidence of illness was found in a vet’s post mortem and he had sent text messages to his ex earlier that day threatening to kill the family pets.
RSPCA inspector Karen Coleman said: “The kitten his ex-partner was most fond of had received the worst of the blunt force trauma.
“Blood was found on the paving slabs of the courtyard outside his home, so I assume this was where it happened.”