The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals may be slightly down in cases compared to this time last year, but they have come across one of their most "horrific" incidents in recent times.
Since the start of January, the society has had 146 calls relating to sick or injured animals, compared to 201 reports in 2013. Calls so far this year have been about cats, dogs, a pigeon and a seagull, with a mix of road accidents, surrenders and cruelty cases reported.
There has also been a slight increase in "Christmas puppies" handed in to the DSPCA, with 14 reported so far. There have been a number of calls from people who are not able to keep their dogs due to job demands or emigration.
"It's early days, but it's not a great start to the year," said a DSPCA spokeswoman.
What really makes 2014 a bad year so far for the DSPCA is a case they dealt with earlier in the week, where four dogs were found in an appalling state in an unnamed housing estate.
The dogs were suffering from emaciation and multiple other conditions, skeletal and decomposing remains of cats were found in a shed and floors were covered in faeces and waste material. All dogs were removed with assistance from Gardai.
Due to the extent of their injuries, three of the four dogs had to be put down. A home will be sought for the remaining dog, Willow, once the investigation is complete.
"It's a pretty horrific case," the spokeswoman said.
"It's horrendous, it's horrible, but it's nowhere near as bad as other cases we've seen over the years."
The society is calling on people to be more vigilant and report incidents if they see them or are suspicious.
"This could have been caught six months or a year ago and maybe then the dogs would have survived."