RSPCA fears rise in animals being abandoned as cost of living crisis bites - The Leamington Observer

RSPCA fears rise in animals being abandoned as cost of living crisis bites

FEARS have been raised more animals could be abandoned in Warwickshire as the cost of living crisis bites.

The concern comes after the RSPCA received nearly 600 reports of abandoned animals in the county last year and approaching 200 in the first half of this year.

As part of the animal welfare charity’s Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, the RSPCA revealed it received more than 100 reports nationally of animals being abandoned every single day throughout 2021 and that figures were on the rise this year.

The charity fears a huge rise in pet ownership during the pandemic coupled with the current cost of living crisis putting a strain on people’s finances means even more animals were likely to be given up this year.

Dermot Murphy, chief inspectorate officer at the RSPCA, said: “We understand that sometimes the unexpected can happen – the pandemic and cost of living crisis proved that – but there is never an excuse to abandon an animal. There are always other options for anyone who has fallen on hard times and can no longer afford to keep their pet.

“The idea of putting your cat in a cat carrier and taking them to a secluded spot in the woods before walking away, or chucking your dog out of the car and driving off leaving them desperately running behind the vehicle, is absolutely unthinkable and heartbreaking to most pet owners – but sadly we are seeing animals callously abandoned like this every single day.”

In a bizarre incident in Warwickshire, two guinea pigs were found abandoned outside a house in Rugby.

Officers from the RSPCA were contacted after a shocked resident found a box containing the two guinea pigs on their doorstep on a Sunday morning in March.

RSPCA inspector Jon Ratcliffe said: “This is a very strange abandonment, with these Guinea pigs left on the doorstep, but the resident having no idea why anyone would have done this.

“There was a knock at the door and when they answered there was no one there – just a box with guinea pigs left on the doorstep. They were in a cardboard box with air holes but nothing else in the box.”

A recent report released by the RSPCA in partnership with the Scottish SPCA also showed the cost of living crisis was the most urgent threat to pet welfare in the UK.

The Animal Kindness Index showed four out of five pet owners thought the cost of living would impact their animals, with a fifth worried about how they would afford to feed their pets. The study also showed cat owners seemed to be most impacted and concerned about cost of living pressures.



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