Animal welfare complaints to the Auckland SPCA in Mangere rose by 9 per cent last year.
This meant another 600 pets were allegedly subject to abuse, neglect or abandonment than the year before.
The SPCA has seen 10,000 pets a year come to its South Auckland centre and nearly three-quarters of these animals have been subject to abuse.
"I think in shelter medicine you see some of the worst of the worst," said Dr Shalsee Vigeant, an SPCA vet.
"We don't get animals that people care for every day.
"A lot of the time we get the animals that have never had someone care for them."
Hippo, a puppy, was brought to the SPCA from Papakura after a suspected beating.
Vigeant was treating him for "eye issues and skin issues" as well as wounds.
She said he was a very young dog to have these problems but they were treatable.
The increase in animal welfare complaints was not solely due to an increase in abuse and neglect, Vigeant said.
The SPCA had increased staffing and Vigeant said the public was now more aware of the issue of animal neglect and abuse, and the law around it.
"It's the law that animals have food and water, it's the law that they have shelter, it's the law that they should have regular exercise," she said.