A report from the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) has revealed that they got more than 16,000 calls to their National Animal Cruelty Helpline last year.
As a result of the 16,312 calls, there were more than 3,200 investigations, 995 animals were seized or surrendered, 32 prosecutions were initiated and 15 prosecutions were finalised in court. This compares to nine in 2015.
However, they also revealed that they only have eight inspectors to cover 17 counties.
Since the Animal Health and Welfare Act (AHWA) came into force three years ago, the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline has received more than 53,000 calls.
ISPCA inspectors have carried out 11,065 investigations and over 2,795 animals were seized or surrendered. A total of 92 prosecutions have been initiated, 25 of which have been finalised in court to-date.
ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly said: "The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 which came into force three years ago was a significant step forward for animal welfare in Ireland, but like any legislation it is only as good as its enforcement. Our Inspectors became authorised officers under the AHWA in May 2014 and since then have used their statutory powers effectively to deal with animal neglect, cruelty and abuse.
"Although we would like to see stronger penalties for animal cruelty to act as a deterrent, we would like to get the message across that all animal owners and anyone who looks after animals have a legal obligation to provide them with their welfare needs. Failure to do so will result in them being held to account.
"The ISPCA will not tolerate animal cruelty and will do all that we can to stamp it out in Ireland.
"Our aim is to recruit enough Inspectors to cover the whole of the country and we would like to appeal to the animal loving public to help us with this work."
Mr Kelly urged the Government to support the ISPCA in the fight against animal cruelty through funding and legislation.
He said: "As our services increasingly become stretched to capacity I would also like to call upon the Irish public to continue to support the good work of the ISPCA in any way that they can - by looking at our website to make a single donation or consider becoming regular donors."