THREE dogs starved to death at a Harristown residence in late July while a fourth barely survived by drinking rainwater pooled in objects scattered around the backyard.
This was just one of the many incidents that helped place the Toowoomba region as the area with the most number of animal cruelty complaints made to the Queensland RSPCA over the last financial year.
A total of 258 animal cruelty complaints came from the Toowoomba region between July 1 last year and June 30 this year.
Darling Downs RSPCA inspector Shawn Jansen said not every incident was as extreme as the Harristown one, but the figures were still a source of concern .
"Toowoomba has traditionally had a high number of animal cruelty complaints," Mr Jansen said.
"I personally receive anywhere from 100 to 140 complaints a month.
"These complaints can be anything from duty of care offences and neglect, abandonment, neighbourhood disputes to extreme cases of cruelty.
"Unfortunately, what we've been seeing lately, both in Toowoomba and Queensland-wide, is an escalation of those extreme cruelty cases."
RSPCA received a total of 14,594 complaints state-wide, an increase of more than 2000 from the previous financial year.
Despite the Toowoomba region's place at the top of the list, Mr Jensen said the statistics did not mean Toowoomba was a particularly cruel area.
"Each region is listed by postcode and 4350 covers a very large area," he said.
"I look after cases from Stanthorpe to Dalby to Cooyar.
"The fact that the Toowoomba region covers such a big area, including all Toowoomba suburbs, would have given the region such a big number of complaints."
Mr Jansen said he hoped Toowoomba's cruelty complaints would eventually reach zero.
"I'm in one of those positions where it would be better if I was out of a job," he said.
Caboolture had the second most animal cruelty complaints in Queensland with a total of 222.
If you've noticed any incidents of animal cruelty that have gone unreported, call the RSPCA office on 1300852188 and let them know.
- 20/07/11, Harristown: Police find three dogs starved to death in a Harristown home.
- 12/07/11, Wilsonton Heights: 40-year-old Toowoomba resident murders a three-month-old kitten with his bare hands.
- 25/12/10, Murphys Creek: Father and son tie a rope around the neck of a Shetland pony and drag him behind a car.
- 12/10/10, Mt Berryman: 12-year-old kelpie Bosca shot with a high-powered bow and arrow.
- 05/04/10, Wilsonton: Seven chickens found beaten to death at Toowoomba State High School's agricultural centre.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.