• Tuesday, April 16, 2024


RSPCA expects ‘winter crisis’ as animal abandonments rise

The RSPCA has logged 17,838 reports of abandoned animals throughout England and Wales this year

Seven year old, Lurcher, Pepper is facing her third Christmas at our RSPCA Llys Nini Branch – Image Credit: Twitter @RSPCA_official

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

The RSPCA is preparing for a ‘winter crisis,’ due to escalating rates of animal abandonments, revealing a surge in incidents across several regions in England.

Figures from Surrey alone show a concerning 27.4% increase in animal abandonments compared to 2020.

Among the recent cases, a bearded dragon and two tortoises were discovered abandoned in a cardboard box in Horsham, West Sussex, the BBC reports.

Dermot Murphy, who leads the RSPCA’s rescue teams, attributes the spike in abandonments to the combined impact of the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis.

He said, “We’re desperately concerned about the coming winter months in Surrey. Abandonments have soared and many rescue centres are full to bursting, so we are facing an unprecedented winter crisis.”

Reports from Bristol show a 68.3% rise in animal abandonments compared to 2020, while Devon and Gloucestershire have also witnessed increases of 20.4% and 15.7%, respectively.

The RSPCA has logged 17,838 reports of abandoned animals throughout England and Wales this year, surpassing the total of 16,118 reports registered during the whole of 2020.

The charity anticipates a substantial surge in abandonment cases by the year’s end, surpassing the totals of previous years.

With a staggering 32.9% increase in abandonment calls across England and Wales in 2023, Murphy expresses concern for the increasing number of vulnerable animals in need of urgent assistance.

The RSPCA’s rescue teams have been tirelessly responding to these distressing situations, including the rescue of ten abandoned rabbits on Dartmoor, albeit with the unfortunate loss of an adult rabbit and a baby.

The RSPCA in Gloucestershire also faced a distressing case involving five Staffordshire bull terrier puppies found dead in Newent Lake, suggesting recent abandonment.

Urging support during these challenging times, Murphy said, “Our rescue teams are set to be busier than ever this Christmas – so we need animal lovers to join the Christmas rescue and donate to help us be there for animals in desperate need as neglect and abandonment soars.”

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