RSPCA staff and volunteers have seen an alarming increase in animals being abandoned across England and Wales and expect the situation to get worse over the winter months.
Nationally the RSPCA has been called out to deal with 29,770 reports of abandoned animals so far in England and Wales. In Northamptonshire they have been called out to 848 abandoned animals.
In the Midlands, West Midlands had the most abandonments, with 1,428 between January 1 and October 1, 2014. It came fourth on a national league table of abandonments, with London and Greater Manchester coming first and second.
RSPCA Midlands superintendent Kelly Rivers said: “Even in a nation of animal lovers, there are thousands of people out there who don’t care about their pets at all. In fact, some literally treat them like rubbish,.
“Worse still, holidays like Christmas can lead to an increase in abandonments as some people choose to get rid of their pets rather than pay for them to be looked after while they are on holiday.
“Money may be spent on holidays and Christmas presents rather than seeking vet attention for ill or newborn animals, so they are dumped.
“It’s bad enough when we find a box of kittens wrapped in blankets on our doorstep with a note, but now people are deliberately dumping their animals in out-of-the-way places - like bins, skips or on waste ground - and leaving them to an unknown fate.”
The RSPCA in the Midlands has released a list of the most unusual and heartbreaking cases of animals that have been abandoned since last winter. Including:
A puppy who was dumped by her owners outside the gates of the RSPCA Birmingham Animal Hospital and the heartbreaking footage showing the distraught puppy chasing after her owner’s car as it sped away, a tiny newborn puppy dumped in a park in Birmingham, and two tiny dogs dumped outside a Pets at Home store in Burton on Trent.
The list is a startling reminder that some really do view animals as commodities that can be discarded without a moment’s thought and the charity is urging people to stay vigilant and alert the RSPCA if they notice boxes, bins or bags that could contain abandoned animals.
The charity is expecting about 140,000 calls in November and December alone, with about 50,000 animals needing help between now and Christmas. That is why they have launched a winter campaign that will look at all aspects of the challenging winter work they face, from the rise in abandonments to weather related rescues and even the increase in violence towards animals in the countdown to the Christmas period.
To help support the RSPCA’s winter campaign, text RESCUE to 70800 to give £3.