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RSPCA is braced for summer surge in abandonments

The RSPCA is bracing itself for a surge in abandoned animals and fears the fallout from the Covid crisis could see more owners struggling to keep their pets.

Typically, the charity sees abandonment peak in the summer months.

Between June and August 2019, 16,519 animals were reported abandoned to the RSPCA which accounts for 30 per cent of all animals reported abandoned that year.

Lurcher Harvey. (38010640)
Lurcher Harvey. (38010640)

This included Saluki Lurcher Harvey who was rescued by RSPCA inspector Emily Astilberry at the beginning of April after being abandoned by his owners when they were evicted from their home in King’s Lynn.

Terrified Harvey was left in a messy, concrete garden and the landlord took care of him as best he could until he had to self-isolate so called the RSPCA.

Emily spent two hours trying to get the frightened dog to trust her enough to allow her to put him on a lead.

Harvey was then cared for by staff at Eau Brink Rehoming Centre who spent weeks rebuilding his trust and his confidence and they are delighted to report that he has recently been re-homed to a loving new family.

Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA’s animal rescue teams, said: “During lockdown we’ve seen pets become a source of comfort and support for people and it appears many people have taken on new animals.

"Fortunately during this time we’ve dealt with fewer abandoned pets however we are worried that as lockdown eases, people return to work, go on holidays or struggle financially we will be facing a massive surge of animal abandonments.

Mr Murphy added: “Sadly summer tends to bring with it a surge in abandoned animals.

"We don’t know why butit may be a combination of the warmer weather making people feel less guilty about dumping a pet to fend for themselves and people doing away on holiday abandoning pets instead of arranging care for them.”

RSPCA rescue teams have been working throughout lockdown after being classified as essential key workers.

The numbers of animals being cared for by the RSPCA has risen by more than 1,500 to 5,600 during the pandemic

If people are struggling to care for their pets, they can: Ask friends and family for help; Contact your vet about payment plans, discounts or vouchers for neutering or any other treatment needed; Get in touch with local re-homing charities for advice.

Please visit the RSPCA website for welfare advice.

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