The RSPCA is warning of a summer abandonment crisis with a 85% increase in the number of reports about dumped animals in the summer months.
Last year, RSPCA figures reveal that in North Yorkshire 383 animals were abandoned in summer 2018.
The oldest and biggest animal welfare charity in England and Wales is expecting to see a huge rise in calls about abandoned pets, often dumped in boxes, thrown in bins or left on the side of roads.
Throughout June, July and August last year, the RSPCA received 23,673 calls about dumped animals which equates to one call every 6 minutes.
This is an increase of at least 85% on the number of animals reported abandoned during the colder months.
Dermot Murphy, RSPCA’S Chief Inspectorate Officer, said: “Sadly, we see a dramatic increase in the number of animals abandoned in the summer. From unwanted newborn kittens and puppies dumped in boxes and bins, exotic pets cast aside or horses abandoned in someone else’s field, dumped like rubbish.
“There is never an excuse to abandon an animal in this way and we would urge anyone who is struggling to cope with their pets to contact us or other charities for help. Our pets are sentient beings and great companions who rely on us for their health and happiness so dumping them like an old mobile phone or a piece of rubbish should never be the answer.
“The peak in animals being abandoned in the summer puts a massive strain on our inspectors, animal centres and branches who are left picking up the pieces when an animal is dumped.”
It is not clear why the figures rise so dramatically in the warmer months but it may be that abandoned animals are more visible when people are out and about, that people feel less guilty about leaving them alone when the weather is warmer or even that some people dump their pets when they go away on holiday and have nowhere for them to go.
Among those abandoned last year was Rolo the Belgian Malinois and Rottweiler cross puppy who was dumped in Sunderland last June and has now found his forever home.
He was found in a box by a dog walker after he had been dumped in a field with his littermates.
Rolo, was is now 10 months old was rehomed to Laura Kirkham in Prudhoe, Northumberland last year and has put his tough start to life behind him.
Other cases of abandonments dealt with by the RSPCA in the region last year were an underweight and anemic dog dumped in Yorkshire last summer and a family of rabbits abandoned in the Wirral without food or shelter.
The number of abandoned animals reported in the North of England in summer 2018:
South Yorkshire 707
East Yorkshire 325
North Yorkshire 383
Tyne and Wear 444
West Yorkshire 930
Greater Manchester 855
It costs the RSPCA nearly £30,000 to run an animal centre, providing vet care, food, toys and comfort to needy animals, every month.
To help the RSPCA continue to rescue animals like Rolo and Mia please visit www.rspca.org.uk/summercrisis