15% of dogs abandoned during lockdown are Staffies

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are most likely to be abandoned during lockdown, as RSPCA sees an average of 19 dog abandonments daily.

The RSPCA has received more than 1,600 reports of abandonment animals across England and Wales since lockdown began and more than 800 of these were about dogs.

The charity has released the figures as part of its Coronavirus emergency appeal, launched to keep its rescue teams out on the road rescuing animals in need during the Covid crisis.

RSPCA rescuers have been designated key workers by the government, but vital funding is needed to help the charity’s frontline staff continue its crucial work across England and Wales.

Since the country went into lockdown on 23 March, the RSPCA has had 815 abandonments* reported to its cruelty hotline – an average of 19 incidents a day. Staffies are most likely to be abandoned with 15% of calls relating to the breed.

The breeds most likely to be abandoned during lockdown are:


1 Staffordshire bull terrier – 125

2 German Shepherd – 41

3 Bulldog – 39

4 Jack Russell terrier – 33

5 Husky – 22

6 Labrador – 20

7Lurchers – 19

8 Akita – 14

9 Mastiff – 14

10 Collie – 11

One staffie that was rescued by the RSPCA was Zena who was found ‘howling in pain’ and abandoned in Oldbury, West Midlands.

She was taken to a vet by a member of the public who found her with her mouth bandaged up and severe leg injuries. The vets then contacted the RSPCA and she’s now recovering at the charity’s Birmingham Animal Hospital and the RSPCA are investigating her care.

Lurcher Harvey was rescued by RSPCA inspector Emily Astilberru at the beginning of April after being abandoned by his owners when they were evicted from their home in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.

He was left in a messy, concrete garden and the landlord took care of him as best he could until he had to self-isolate so called the RSPCA. Harvey is now being cared for by staff at Eau Brink Rehoming Centre and inspectors are investigating.

Since lockdown began, the RSPCA has dealt with more than 31,000 incidents of animal cruelty, neglect and suffering animals which need help.

The charity has received more than 112,000 calls from members of the public and there are more than 4,600 animals in RSPCA care.

There is no evidence to suggest that dogs can carry or pass Covid-19 to humans so we’re urging pet owners not to panic at this time and not to abandon their dogs.

To help the RSPCA, you can donate at www.rspca.org.uk/covid.