Struggling pet owners urged not to dump animals amid ‘worrying’ summer rise in abandoned pets
Struggling owners have been urged not to dump pets they cannot care for as a charity braces itself for a summer animal welfare crisis.
The RSPCA said calls about abandoned animals soared by 50pc between June and August in the south-east of England last year, with 129 SOS calls made in Suffolk.
It also received 312 calls in Essex, which it said was “worrying”.
Calls received this year include five four-week-old kittens dumped in an alleyway in Kessingland, near Lowestoft, who were spotted by a dog walker on Saturday, July 9.
The cute kittens seemed none the worse for their ordeal having been fed, re-hydrated and groomed for fleas and ticks – but the Anglia coastal branch of Cats Protection said they might not have survived had they been left for another couple of hours.
The RSPCA’s superintendent for the south-east region, Paul Stilgoe, said: “There’s 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 example when people’s 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.
“Abandoning pets should never be seen as a solution to a problem and we are urging pet owners to take responsibility for their animals.
“When people take on a new pets - whatever that animal may be - they do need to research it, make sure it will suit their lifestyle and that they will be able to provide for it for the entirety of its life - however long that may be.”
The RSPCA advises that if pet owners are going away on holiday, they make sure their pet is cared for by asking friends or family to care for them, calling a pet sitter or taking them to a licensed boarding establishment.