The SPCA says an appalling catalogue of animal cruelty shows the way people treat animals, mirrors increasing violence in society.
The organisation's annual list of shame cites 50 examples of animal abuse, including animals being kicked to death, sliced in half, shot, starved or dismembered.
Dogs and cats, including puppies and kittens, have been burned, strangled, bashed or thrown into rivers.
But the SPCA's chief executive, Robyn Kippenberger, says the number of successful prosecutions is increasing, especially where post mortem evidence is used.
"Inspectors are trained in forensics so we can work out whether there was actually anything in the gut of the animal when we find it. If we think the animal has starved to death we can prove that by autopsy," she said.
However, further changes are needed to ensure the worst offenders are imprisoned, she added