The RSPCA is urging struggling owners in the South not to dump pets as it received more than 10,000 calls nationally about abandoned animals in just 3 months last summer – including 23 cases on the Isle of Wight alone and many others across Hampshire and the south.
The charity is braced for a summer welfare crisis as calls about abandoned animals across England and Wales soared by 50% in June to August last year compared to the colder months.
In the South West, the charity received 209 calls from Hampshire about abandoned animals in just 3 months (Jun-Aug) with Devon close behind with 208 calls. 23 calls were made on the Isle of Wight.
Summer is the busiest season for the charity and the warmer months of 2017 saw more than 10,000 calls nationally to its 24-hour emergency hotline about dumped pets – one every 12 minutes. Those calls involved anything from kittens abandoned alone and sick to horses abandoned at the side of the road close to death.
The RSPCAâs superintendent for the south west region, Lee Hopgood said:
We see every type of animal abandoned from dogs, cats and small animals to horses, farm animals and even exotic animals like pythons just left out on the street in their vivariums.
“Every animal has specific welfare needs and itâs so dangerous to leave any animal abandoned and having to fend for itself.
Theres no saying why people choose to abandon their animals, or why this rises in the summer – possibly people dump their animals when they head off on holiday and haven’t found anyone to look after their pet when they’re away. Or maybe they feel less guilty, leaving a pet to fend for itself in the warmer weather, compared to the cold winter months.
We can only guess that it can be a number of factors – for examples when people as circumstances change and they are no longer be in a position to look after their pet. However, we sadly see a number of abandoned animals with very serious injuries or illness, which is just heartbreaking.
This summer, the RSPCA has already seen a number of neglected animals dumped in the South West, including 2 kittens dumped in woodland in New Milton, Hampshire at the end of last month, one of which was suffering with an injury that resulted in him having to have an eye removed. Thankfully they are now both recovering at RSPCA Ashley Heath animal centre.