THERE were over 416 animals reported as abandoned in the North West last December, with over 4,000 being dumped across the festive season nationally.

Greater Manchester saw 120 abandoned animals reported to the RSPCA's cruelty line over the festive month, followed by Lancashire with 115 and Merseyside with 77.

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “Christmas is a busy time for us as sadly, cruelty and abandonment does not stop over the festive season and our staff work tirelessly to rescue and care for animals in need."

The RSPCA is now urging people to help them care for animals spending Christmas in its centres and hospitals with its Stock the Sleigh campaign, asking for help providing anything from food, medicine, to a warm blanket, treats and toys.

The RSPCA anticipates that it will take in more than 10,000 animals in need over this winter.

Their centres cost around £670,000 each year to run and providing vital supplies can help.

Visit to donate.