South Yorkshire has been ranked the sixth worst county in England for abandoned animals.
According to a shocking report released by the RSPCA today, some 1,026 pets were dumped by irresponsible owners in the region between January 1 and October 1, 2014.
Nationally the RSPCA has been called out to deal with 29,770 reports of abandoned animals so far this year.
Concerned staff and volunteers at the charity say the figures reveal an alarming increase in the number of vulnerable animals being dumped across England and Wales and that they expect the situation to get worse over the winter months.
“Even in a nation of animal lovers, there are thousands of people out there who don’t care about their pets at all - in fact, some literally treat them like rubbish,” said RSPCA superintendent Martin Marsh.
“Worse still, holidays like Christmas can lead to an increase in abandonments as some people choose to get rid of their pets rather than pay for them to be looked after while they are on holiday.
“Money may be spent on holidays and Christmas presents rather than seeking vet attention for ill or newborn animals, so they are dumped.”
* Today’s other top stories:
Sheffield gran murdered by the seaside click link