an RSPCA officer holding a puppy
Industry News,  Lead

Animal abandonments hit three-year high, RSPCA reveals

Animal abandonment incidents have soared to a shocking three-year high amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, according to the RSPCA’s latest statistics.

The charity said it feared the ongoing cost of living crisis – coupled with a surge in pet ownership during Covid-19 restrictions – has created a “perfect storm” for animal welfare emergencies, which has led to the rise in abandoned pets.

Already this year, up to the end of October, the RSPCA has received 17,838 reports of abandoned animals – which, if such trends continue, would equate to 21,417 reports in 2023.

This compares with 16,118 reports during the whole of 2020, meaning the RSPCA is on course to see a 32.9% rise in abandonment calls this year.

The number is also higher than that of reports received in 2021 (17,179) and 2022 (19,645).

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA Inspectorate Commissioner, said: “The combined effects of the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis has created a perfect storm – and means we expect more animals than ever will need our help this year.

“Abandonment calls to our emergency line are now at a three-year high, as we respond to an increasing number of animals being given up and dumped.”

Murphy said the charity is facing an “unprecedented winter crisis”, adding: “Our rescue teams are set to be busier than ever this Christmas – so we need animal lovers to Join the Christmas Rescue and donate to help us be there for animals in desperate need as abandonment soars.”

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