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Another awful year for animal abandonments


1:11pm 9th January 2012
(Updated 1:31pm 9th January 2012)

The RSPCA in Yorkshire says it's been another awful year for animal abandonments.

The number of calls to the charity has gone up for the fifth year running.

In total over 9,000 animals were disguarded in the North in 2011.

That's the highest in the whole country.

Between New Year's Day and last Thursday, 110 animals were dumped in the North.

Again that's the highest in Britain.

Statement from the RSPCA

The RSPCA is urging people to think before they act after the number of calls to the charity about abandoned animals rose for the fifth year running.
Last year, the charity took 28,162 abandonment calls, compared to 27,755 in 2010.  In 2007, the total was just 21,481 - giving a 31 per cent rise over five years.
There was some good news - the December total for 2011 was 1,997, the lowest it has been since 2008, when the charity received 1,878 calls during the same month. 
The RSPCA also received fewer calls (313) about abandonments during the first five days of January 2012, compared to 390 in the same period in 2011.
Inspector Tony Woodley said: 

"Usually we see many more abandonments in the summer rather than around Christmas, and the fact that the number of abandonments last December had decreased is slightly encouraging.
"Although it is tempting to blame the economic situation, we have no real idea of why the number of abandonments is increasing overall, but it is so frustrating to think that the messages about caring for animals just aren't getting through to some people."

Those animals abandoned included:

  • A small dog which died after being left tied up outside a vet surgery in Keighley during the night of 16/17 October.  The dog had managed to escape his tether and crawled into the practice garden, but was in such a pitiful condition that he died before horrified staff found him the next day.
  • Seven shivering Jack Russell puppies found in a box in Woking on 5 December (pictured).  All had had their tails docked, possibly illegally.
  • Two giant lop-eared rabbits found abandoned in Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan on 14 December
  • Three lurcher dogs dumped outside the RSPCA's Putney Animal Hospital in London on 16 December.  They had been left outside on a cold wet night, with a note saying their owners had been made homeless and could no longer care for them.
  • A whimpering English bull terrier found huddled next to a wall on a common near Merthyr Tydfil on 18 December.  The female dog had red and raw skin all over her body, missing fur and she was lame on her right hind leg.
  • Two terrapins found dumped in a soggy cardboard box in a field in Headington, Oxfordshire on 29 December.
  • A cat left in a box in public toilets in Nuneaton on 30 December.  A note had been left with the white cat saying:  "please find me a good home."

Inspector Woodley continued:

"People might think they are doing the right thing, leaving their pets where they think they will be found, or they may feel they have no other option. 
"Whatever the reason, owners have a legal responsibility to seek help for their animal and if this means making a bit of effort to find a good new home, or just waiting a few days until someone can take the animal in, this is what they must do."

Total number of abandonment calls received during last five years
            Dec   Total
2007 - 1639   21481
2008 - 1878   23083
2009 - 2263   23944
2010 - 2159   27755
2011 - 1997   28162
Number of abandonment calls received by region in 2011
East 4882
North 9055
South East 5383
South & South West 3555
Wales & West 5287
Total 28162
Number of abandonment calls received by region 01/01/12 - 05/01/12
East 47
North 110
South East 77
South & South West 29
West & Wales 50
Total 313
Number of abandonment calls received by region 01/01/11 - 05/01/11
East 71
North 118
South East 93
South & South West 44
West & Wales 64
Total 390

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