RSPCA Queensland have released their annual animal cruelty report, and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of some Brisbane suburbs.

For the fourth year in a row, Caboolture has recorded the highest number of animal cruelty complaints in Queensland, with 238 complaints made to the RSPCA. Other Brisbane suburbs to make the top three included Morayfield with 182 reports and Deception Bay with 148 claims of animal cruelty.

Other Brisbane suburbs that found themselves at the top of the RSPCA list were Capalaba with 73 complaints, Narangba with 66 and North Lakes with 49.

RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said when it comes to defining an animal cruelty complaint, the process was not clear cut. The 2014 recorded complaints ranged in severity and everything from reports of dogs barking to pets being physically abused were recorded and entered into the report.

“There is a broad gambit of complaints to consider,” Mr Beatty said. “Everything from barking dogs to acts of extreme cruelty and abuse, shooting wildlife, throwing boiling water at animals, is recorded. We hear it all.”

Unfortunately for our furry friends, the number of animal cruelty complaints has continued to grow over the years. In 2014, the RSPCA received 18,334 complaints, which was an increase on the 16,777 complaints they received in 2013, and the 15,144 they received in 2012.

However, according to Mr Beatty, there is no concrete reason as to why the numbers keep climbing or why Caboolture keeps coming out on top.

“This is obviously a very serious issue, cruelty towards animals always is,” he said. “However, the spike in numbers does not necessarily mean there has been an increase in the acts of cruelty that are occurring. It could be that people are just more comfortable reporting instances of abuse then they were five years ago or even in the last year.

“If you think animal abuse is taking place you should always report it, even if you are not 100 per cent sure. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have any suspicious please call the RSCPA on 1300 ANIMAL(264 625) and report it.”

It is an offence under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 for people in charge of animals to abandon or release them, cause cruelty or breach their duty of care.The offence of cruelty relates to causing unjustifiable, unnecessary or unreasonable pain to animals. ‘Pain’ includes distress and mental or physical suffering.

This offence covers actions that the community would perceive as cruel and unacceptable, including beating,tormenting,overworking, transporting animals that are not fit to travel killing an animal inhumanely.

The maximum penalty for an individual convicted of cruelty to animals is $220,000 or 3 years imprisonment.

Have you ever witnessed or reported animal cruelty in Brisbane?