Shocking new figures reveal we might not be the nation of animal lovers we used to be.
According to the RSPCA, convictions resulting from prosecutions brought by the charity are up 34 per cent.
One such incident saw an elderly German Shepherd put to sleep in Morecambe to end its suffering.
The male black and tan dog called Shadow was struggling to walk, had an injury to one of his paws, an infection in both ears and a skin infection.
He was also suffering from a loss of bladder function and cystitis.
The RSPCA visited a property inMorecambe in March 2012 when Shadow was signed over to the charity by his owners and taken to a vet where he was euthanised.
RSPCA inspector Sarah Hayland said: “This dog was in a pitiful state and it was in his best interests to be put to sleep.
“He was an elderly dog but that isn’t an excuse for the kind of condition he was in.
“He should have seen a vet.
“Sadly, Shadow was failed by those he relied on.”
A 56-year-old woman pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to Shadow by failing to provide vet treatment at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court on August 10 2012.
Her 31-year-old son pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to Shadow by failing to provide proper care and supervision.
They were ordered to pay £150 fine each, £100 costs each and banned from keeping dogs for five years.
They were among 46 convictions in Lancashire in 2012.
Nationally there were 4,168 according to the RSPCA Prosecutions Annual Report.