Pet abandonment expected to surge this winter in South Yorkshire

The RSPCA in South Yorkshire has appealed to people not to abandon their pets this winter, as figures show hundreds were dumped in 2020.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 6:43 am

The RSPCA has launched a Christmas appeal for help as the charity is braced for a surge of abandoned and neglected animals this year.

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In South Yorkshire last winter there were 107 reports of animals being abandoned - including 40 in December alone.

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Molly Moo, who was recued by the RSPCA last year.

And the charity fears that number will rise for winter 2021/22.

Pet ownership surged over lockdown, and with the return to work, the end of furlough and concerns around rising prices and energy bills, the charity fears the increased stress and pressures will see a rise in abandonment, neglect and even abuse of animals.

Dermot Murphy, who heads the RSPCA’s frontline rescue teams, said officers will be saving animals across England and Wales throughout the festive season, including Christmas Day.

“Our frontline rescue teams are braced for the worst this Christmas. We usually see two types of pet abandonment at Christmas and both are heartbreaking,” he said.

“Every year we get reports of people leaving their pets while they visit family and friends. This year is a four day holiday and many people will want to make up for not being able to see family and friends so some animals will be left for days on their own to fend for themselves.

“It’s not acceptable to simply leave extra food and water for most pets if you are going away.”

Dermot added: “It’s a sad reality that some pets will be turned out on the streets this Christmas and we are braced for even more of that happening as the bills are rising, there are presents to buy or the commitment needed to own a pet becomes too much.

“Please never abandon a pet. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.”

Calls to the RSPCA’s Emergency Rescue Line passed pre-Covid levels for the first time in September showing return to normality and with it rising concerns about the welfare of animals.

It will cost £245 a day to keep a frontline rescuer on the road this Christmas -please Join the Christmas Rescue and help bring them to safety.