These shocking images of a Staffordshire bull terrier covered in cuts and  wounds have been released as the RSPCA highlights a rise in animal cruelty.

The number of animal cruelty convictions in London went up from 250 in 2012 to 297 in 2013.

Among the people convicted was a 40-year-old Worcester Park woman who was banned for keeping animals for five years after her Staffordshire bull terrier named Bluey was found with a horrific wound to her tail that had gone untreated.

Your Local Guardian:

Bluey was underweight and her severed tail was left untreated

Bluey had been left to suffer with a red raw, severed six inch stump of a tail. When she was found she was severely underweight and covered with bites and marks all over her body.

Her owner claimed Bluey had been attacked by two other dogs while out on a walk.

Bluey's owner pleaded guilty to offences under the Animal Welfare Act and was given a five year disqualification from owning animals at Wimbledon Magistrates Court in April.

The RSPCA has highlighted Bluey's plight as it releases figures that show a reduction in convictions for animal cruelty nationwide with London bucking the trend.

RSPCA superintendent Paul Stilgoe said: "The UK is known as a nation of animal lovers and yet once again we have seen some truly heartbreaking sights this year, and animals suffering in horrific ways.

"It is really difficult to say what drives people to act in such utterly pointless cruel ways, and neglect their animals to such an extent.

"In some cases people just don’t know what an animal needs or financial circumstances can lead to difficulties, whilst others find organised cruelty, or deliberate violence towards an animal acceptable.

"We will always try to work with people and re-educate where possible, but there will always be some people who think it is alright to beat, kick, kill, starve or neglect an animal and times when the only way to stop them is to prosecute.

Bluey has been taken into care by the RSPCA and is recovering.