Pet owners are being reminded that dumping animals is an offence in light of a shameful report that names South Yorkshire as one of the worst places for abandonments.
According to disturbing figures released by the RSPCA, some 1,026 pets were ditched by irresponsible owners in the region between January 1 and October 1 this year, making the county the sixth worst place in England for the offence.
Concerned staff at the RSPCA Sheffield branch say an increase in abandoned animal cases puts extra pressure on the centre. “The national statistics on abandoned animals highlights just one of the issues we face in Sheffield on an annual basis,” said Sheffield animal care manager Tony Benham. “Animals should never be abandoned – in fact it is an offence to do so.
“Not only is it heartbreaking but it has several negative effects on our animal centre which is a charity with limited space – a great deal of which is prioritised to support inspectors with cruelty and neglect cases.
“Not only does an abandoned dog require a kennel, it potentially comes to us in need of costly veterinary attention and little or no knowledge as to its behaviour, making the rehoming and rehabilitation process lengthier.”
A two-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier named Aly is one example of the numerous abandoned dogs that arrive at the RSPCA Sheffield branch each year. The terrified pooch was found abandoned, tied up, and suffering a severe head trauma which left her blind in one eye.
Caring RSPCA staff were gradually able to rehabilitate and rehome Aly with a new loving owner, but not all abandoned animal cases have a happy ending.
Tony added: “It is awful to think of what Aly went through, and what so many animals who are abandoned and cruelly treated suffer.”
Nationally the RSPCA has been called out to deal with 29,770 reports of abandoned animals so far this year, something the charity said is an ‘alarming increase’.