More than 400 animals were abandoned over the Christmas period last year, the RSPCA has revealed.
There were 416 animals reported as abandoned in the North West last December (2018) and more than 4,000 animals were dumped during the festive season across England and Wales.
Greater Manchester saw 120 abandoned animals reported to the RSPCA’s cruelty line over the festive month last year, followed by Lancashire with 115 and Merseyside with 77 abandoned animals. Sadly, the charity is already caring for many animals abandoned around the country this festive season.
The RSPCA is urging people to help them care for animals spending this 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 was called to rescue two adult cats and eight kittens who were found in a cardboard box in Oldham, Greater Manchester, just two days before Christmas last year. RSPCA inspector Lorna Campbell collected the kittens along with six of their siblings and two adult cats on Swinton Street at 1.40am on December 23. Thankfully, one year on and all the cats are in loving homes.
Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “Christmas is a busy time for us, as sadly cruelty and abandonments do not stop over the festive season and our staff work tirelessly to rescue and care for animals in need.
“Last year, there were 1,684 dogs reported as abandoned in December and 1,678 abandoned in January, and there were more dogs than any other animal being abandoned over the festive period. We understand that people’s circumstances can change which may mean they can no longer cope with their pet but there is never an excuse to abandon any animal like this, as there are other options available to people who are struggling to care for their pets. Dumping a pet leaves the animal extremely scared and vulnerable, especially in the cold winter months.
“We would urge anyone considering getting a pet to think carefully about whether they have the time, care, patience, and resources to care for that animal for the rest of their life and if you feel you really do, then please consider giving a rescue pet a second chance this new year.”
County breakdown of Christmas abandonments (2018):
Greater Manchester: 120*
It costs around £670,000 to run an RSPCA centre for a year. You can make a generous donation to Stock the Sleigh and help animals in our care.
This winter, the RSPCA expects to take in more than 10,000 animals in need. To help us deliver vital supplies to thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned animals left out in the cold this Christmas, visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness and watch your virtual gift fill up our sleigh with a grateful wag from Sprout the dog.