The RSPCA is bracing itself for a surge in abandoned animals and fears the fallout from the Covid crisis could see more owners struggling to keep their pets.
Typically, the charity sees abandonment peak in the summer months, with 16,519 animals reported abandoned between June and August 2019, which accounts for 30% of all animals abandoned last year.
During the summer months the charity had nearly 180 calls about dumped animals – 5,600 about cats and 6,400 about dogs.
The RSPCA is braced for an even bigger impact this summer following the easing of lockdown and the financial impact on the coronavirus pandemic and has launched an emergency appeal to continue its vital work.
Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA’s animal rescue teams, said: “During lockdown we’ve seen pets become a source of comfort and support for people and it appears many people have taken on new animals. Fortunately, during this time we’ve dealt with fewer abandoned pets however we are worried that as lockdown eases, people return to work, go on holiday or struggle financially we will be facing a massive surge of animal abandonments.
“Sadly, summer tends to bring with it a surge in abandoned animals. We don’t know why but it may be a combination of the warmer weather making people feel less guilty about dumping a pet to fend for themselves and people going away on holiday abandoning pets instead of arranging care for them.”
What people can do if they’re struggling to care for their pets:
- Ask friends and family for help
- Contact your vet about payment plans, discounts or vouchers for neutering or any other treatment needed
- Get in touch with local rehoming charities for advice
- Visit the RSPCA website for welfare advice
To help the RSPCA continue to rescue animals that have been abandoned this summer, please visit rspca.org.uk/abandonments