A press release from National RSPCA shows that they have been called out to deal with 29,770 reports of abandoned animals so far in England and Wales this year - an increase of 33 per cent since 2009.
Although there are so many wonderful pet owners in Britain who care for their pets there are also many owners who do not, and many animals that are treated at best as disposable. Dogs arriving in our care may have had several different owners as they have been passed from pillar to post - it's no wonder that some of them have issues. In fact, we are often surprised at how well adjusted some of these animals are.
Gwen was tied up outside our Centre at the start of October by her owner who threatened to harm her if we didn't take her in. Physically she was well, although she did have sores on the back of her legs that appear to be from crouching her own urine. She was so grateful to be with the staff and just wants love from everybody she meets. How anybody could part with her is baffling. Gwen is only a young dog so it's possible that after she was no longer a puppy and not as 'cute' her owner didn't want her any more. Gwen is currently available for adoption - read about her here.
Felicity, Oliver & Diggle
Last week a member of the public came into our Reception with Felicity the cat and her two kittens, Oliver and Diggle. She had found the trio dumped in the alleyway by her house. Luckily they are all healthy and will soon be ready to find a new home. It's frustrating when animals are dumped on our doorstep, but at least they've been left in a safe place. Whoever dumped this family had no idea whether they would make it to safety or not, and that's worse than the fact that they are unwanted.
Biscuit the large Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross was found by a member of the public tied to a tree. They called the Inspectors who brought him in to us. Biscuit is a big boy and had very little training so his strength could be overpowering for some people. However, if he had been properly trained as a puppy it wouldn't have been an issue. More and more often we are seeing dogs who are arriving in our care because they are lacking basic training and socialisation. Eventually as they grow bigger, it can become a big problem. Biscuit isn't aggressive, he is just a large, strong dog! Luckily for Biscuit, the perfect couple for him spotted him on our website. They researched the breed and training methods, until they were certain they would be able to offer him the home he needs and he's currently living happily with them!
Close to Easter this year 17 domestic baby bunnies were found huddled under a bush. They were from around 3 different litters, aged between about 2 and 4 weeks old, so the likelihood is that their owners had several females who all gave birth close to one another. The owners probably couldn't cope and decided the better option was to dump the babies. This just highlights the need for the neutering of rabbits. Rabbits breed extremely quickly and before long 4 rabbits can turn into 20 rabbits. You can imagine how the problem escalates. Thankfully the baby bunnies were found quickly and brought into us. They were split into groups and sent to foster homes to gain weight. Once they were old enough they all went to their new homes in bonded pairs (the odd one out went to a home with an existing bunny!). A happy end to what could have been a tragic story.
A growing problem?
These are just a few cases which point to what could be a growing problem. We may be a nation of animal lovers but there are still many people out there who show no respect or regard for their animals. These people are responsible for the thousands of calls relating to abandonments that the RSPCA receive every year. Calls like the one about Tom, the cat abandoned in a house. He was found in time and is now recovering in a foster home, but many more animals sadly are not.
Alongside this issue, sometimes people need to take more time and care when considering whether they are ready to own a pet. Those puppies or kittens may look very cute, but they are a long-term commitment and a big responsibility. Animals give so much to people and we have to be prepared to give them back what they need.
What can I do to help this problem?
Before taking on an animal, thoroughly research their needs and be honest about whether or not you can offer them the home they need for the rest of their life.
If you know somebody who is considering taking on an animal that they may not be able to care for, advise them against it and always direct them to us if they want further advice.
NEVER abandon an animal you can no longer care for. It is your responsibility as their owner to find them a new, safe place to call home.
Spread the word! A lot of animal cruelty is 'behind closed doors' so people do not always realise that the situation is still dire for some animals. Spread the word, share this blog post through social media, and always encourage friends and family to adopt animals.
Without the kind generosity of the public, the RSPCA and similar organisations would not exist. Help us to continue to help animals like Gwen by texting PAWS45 followed by the amount you would like to give e.g. PAWS45 £5 to 70070.
Find out how to donate in other ways by clicking here.
Thank you for your support.
Communications & Volunteer Manager