Cash-strapped RSPCA is at breaking point due to a huge rise in pet owners convicted of animal cruelty and a slump in donations.
As convictions under the Animal Welfare Act rose to around 1,340 people last year - a rise of nearly a quarter over the previous year - it's on the brink of a funding crisis.
The RSPCA has already announced it's cutting its 1,600 staff by 135 non-frontline jobs but it's still struggling.
Outgoings are swamping income as it copes with rising fuel, energy and vet bills and usually generous donors are also strapped for cash as they face their own rising bills.
The charity is urgently appealing to the public to actively support it with help and donations during RSPCA Week 2012 which runs from April 30 to May 6.
Shocking cases of cruelty include a dog repeatedly stabbed with a potato peeler, a blind kitten found dumped in a carrier bag and a dog left in a house where five other animals had died of starvation.
A spokeswoman said for many people it's not necessarily being unable to afford their animals, they just don't perceive their behaviour as cruel.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: "We face a crisis that is stretching us to breaking point.
"We need the courts and councils, police and people who care to join us in standing up and getting justice for Britain's abused animals."
Meanwhile, wildlife presenter Chris Packham has criticised Britons for being nature lovers "only when it suits us" and dismissed reports of people getting attacked by foxes saying there was no proof that foxes attack dogs and cats except in "exceptional circumstances."