Release Date: August 30, 2022
A staggering 20 puppies have been found abandoned in a crate at a rest area in Essex
As part of the charity’s Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, the RSPCA has revealed it has received more than 100 reports of abandoned animals in England and Wales every day in 2021, and unfortunately those numbers are rising this year.
Last year, a total of 38,087 reports of abandonment were submitted to the charity’s cruelty hotline – an average of over 3,000 reports per month, 104 per day, or four abandoned animals per hour.
Greater Manchester is in the top five places with the highest reports of abandoned animals (number five) with 1,654 abandoned animals reported to the RSPCA in 2021.
This year those numbers are up 23% in Greater Manchester, with 1,012 reports of abandoned animals made to the county charity from January to July 2022.
Heartbreakingly, the number of disposed animals is also increasing nationwide, with a 17% increase from 2020-2021 and a 24% increase in 2022.
The charity fears a huge surge in animal ownership during the pandemic, combined with the cost-of-living crisis taking a toll on people’s finances, will mean even more animals will be abandoned this year.
The animal rights group released the stark numbers as part of its summer campaign, Cancel Out Cruelty, which aims to raise funds to keep its rescue teams on the front lines of rescuing animals in dire need of help and raising awareness of how we can all work together to stop cruelty forever.
Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “The idea of putting your cat in a cat carrier and taking it to a secluded spot in the woods before you go away, or throwing your dog out of the car and driving when Running behind the vehicle in desperation is absolutely unthinkable and heartbreaking for most pet owners – but sadly, every day we see animals so ruthlessly abandoned.
“We understand that sometimes the unexpected can happen – the pandemic and cost of living crisis have proven that – but there is never an excuse to abandon an animal. There are always other options for those who are in need and can no longer afford to keep their pet.”
From January to July 2021, there were 18,375 abandonment reports compared to 22,908 in the first seven months of this year – a 24% increase.
A recent report by the RSPCA in conjunction with Scotland’s SPCA also showed that the cost of living crisis is the most pressing threat to the welfare of pets in the UK.
The Animal Kindness Index showed that 78% of pet owners believe the cost of living will affect their animals, nearly seven in 10 (68%) expressed concern that grooming costs would increase, and a fifth (19%) were concerned about how they will afford to feed their pets. The study also revealed that cat owners seem most concerned and concerned about the pressure on the cost of living.
This worrying survey comes at a time when the charity is having its busiest time. The RSPCA receives about 90,000 calls to its cruelty hotline each month, but in the summer (July and August) calls jump to 134,000 a month and reports of atrocities jump to 7,600 a month – a devastating 245 a day.
Dogs were the most abandoned pet with 14,462 reports of abandoned dogs made to the RSPCA last year. Cats were the second most abandoned pet with 10,051 reports of cats being carelessly abandoned in 2021. In addition, 3,363 abandoned exotic pets were reported to the RSPCA, including 1,455 fish and 685 snakes.
In Greater Manchester, the RSPCA is appealing for information after a kitten was hidden in a JD Sports bag, offered for sale to a member of the public in the street and then dumped in a bush in Moston on August 4.
The member of the public who called the RSPCA explained that they were approached by a man on the street carrying a JD gym bag with a kitten hidden inside. The man asked if he “wanted a kitten,” and the member of the public declined. However, the witness then saw the man empty the bag and throw the kitten into a bush before leaving eight-week-old Moggy.
RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer (ARO) Jess Pierce rescued the cat and took it to a vet for a check-up. Unfortunately, the vets discovered that he was not only infested with fleas but also had feline parvovirus and despite the best efforts of the vets and a nurse, the little kitten had to be euthanized to end his suffering.
In another incident, a dying puppy was found dumped like trash in a black trash bag with her sibling’s body inside.
The pup, believed to be just around 12 weeks old, was abandoned in a cat basket which was placed in a tied black bag and left next to a rubbish bin on a footpath near the crematorium on Bolton Road in Atherton was.
A dog walker made the disturbing discovery on February 18 and rushed the shih tzu pup to a nearby veterinarian and reported the matter to the RSPCA.
Animal Welfare Officer Steve Wickham took the pup to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital for emergency veterinary care, but despite best efforts, she unfortunately died of parvovirus – a highly contagious, life-threatening disease affecting dogs.
Steve said: “This poor pup was scared and it must have been a terrible ordeal for her to be cooped up in a basket with her dead sibling. They were in a garbage bag that was tied so that hardly any air could get in.
“If she hadn’t been found by the dog walker she would have suffered a slow and prolonged death and would have been absolutely terrified. At least she had some comfort and affection towards the end – although the result is very sad.”
Steve said tests showed the pup’s siblings had also died from parvovirus, which could easily be prevented with vaccinations.
Stories from across England and Wales
One of them was Freya, who was thrown from a truck traveling at around 80 km/h in Yalding, Kent, in January this year.
It’s a miracle the terrified terrier wasn’t badly injured when she was thrown out of the moving vehicle like a piece of garbage. Luckily, witnesses saw Freya being dumped and she was taken to the vets, who determined she was underweight and suffering from fleas with a matted, dirty coat. After her release, she was taken in by the aid organization for care and rehabilitation and has now found a loving new home.
Inspector Kirsten Ormerod, who launched an investigation into the incident, said: “Freya was incredibly lucky to survive after being ejected from the moving vehicle at such high speed and vets were incredibly concerned that she may have suffered internal bleeding, and immediately performed an operation.
“Witnesses described being thrown with such force that she landed on the opposite side of the road and the vehicle did not stop or even slowed down.”
A whopping 20 puppies were found abandoned in a crate at a rest stop near Fryerning, Essex on Friday 29th July (pictured above).
The puppies were all in a crate and were found by a kind-hearted member of the public walking in the area around 3pm on Friday.
The finder called RSPCA and Inspector Sian Ridley and Animal Rescue Officer Enola Evans answered the call and discovered 20 small puppies locked in the metal box.
They collected the puppies and took them straight to a local vet for treatment. One of the puppies was very weak and was being held warm by a member of the public when officers arrived, but sadly died.
The surviving pups were all small, each weighing less than a bag of sugar—there were 14 males and five females. They are believed to have come from two or possibly more separate litters.
The RSPCA rescued a cat that was cruelly abandoned in a Durham chip box.
The tabby male was spotted in a lane in Ferryhill late on a Friday evening in June.
He was unharmed from his ordeal, but RSPCA Inspector John Lawson, who attended the incident, said the crate could easily have been run over by a passing vehicle.
A local resident took the cat into their home and then contacted the RSPCA, and he is now being cared for at one of the charity’s animal centers, where he goes by the name Stephen.
John said: “Residents in the area heard meowing from the alley and when they went outside they found a cat in that box. It was taped shut which would have been very distressing for the animal, although there was a small square opening at the top.”
Stephen, who is around four months old and not microchipped, has a distinctive white coloring on his chest and paws.
The RSPCA received 1,081,018 calls to its Cruelty Line in 2021, including reports of:
- 1,094 kills, or almost three animals killed per day
- 632 mutilations or 12 animals brutally mutilated every week
- 7,857 beats, which is almost one animal beaten per hour.