The RSPCA received more than 680 calls about animal cruelty in Whittlesea and Hume in the 12 months to June.

The latest data from the animal welfare organisation reveals Hume had the third most calls about animal mismanagement in the state, with 376 calls made in 2017-18. In 2016-17, the RSPCA received 324 calls from Hume.

Whittlesea ranked 10th in 2017-18, with 311 calls.

Geelong was named as Victoria’s animal cruelty hotspot, with the RSPCA receiving 559 calls.

In Victoria, animal cruelty can be investigated by inspectors authorised under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 from the RSPCA, councils, Victoria Police and Agriculture Victoria.

RSPCA chief executive Liz Walker said 10,642 cruelty reports were made across the state in the past financial year.

Most reports made in Hume and Whittlesea related to dogs and puppies, with 438 reports made across both municipalities.

Ninety-two were made about cats and kittens, while 80 involved horses. Most concerns were that animals had insufficient access to food, water or shelter and about hygiene, grooming and housing conditions.

Dr Walker said localised animal cruelty statistics helped the RSPCA to target its prevention and education initiatives in the areas that need them most. “Over the last two years that we’ve released these reports, we’ve seen that many communities are shocked to learn the levels of cruelty reporting in their area and eager to see those numbers go down, just as we are,” she said.

“RSPCA Victoria welcomes the opportunities it has to work with local council and get to the heart of local animal welfare issues.

“It breaks our hearts to see our inspectors and vets attend to so many animals that are severely malnourished and ill, who clearly haven’t been shown even the most basic level of care.”