40 animals are being dumped across the country every day in lockdown
The RSPCA has received around 1,600 reports of abandoned animals since the start of lockdown – averaging around 40 a day.
And since the country went into lockdown on March 23, the RSPCA has received reports of 815 abandoned dogs.
Staffies are the most likely to be abandoned with 15% of calls relating to the breed.
The charity has released the figures as part of its coronavirus emergency appeal, launched to keep its rescue teams out on the road rescuing animals in need during the pandemic.
Some of the animals rescued by the RSPCA have included Staffie Zena, who was ‘howling with pain’ when she was found abandoned in Oldbury with her mouth bandaged shut and severe leg injuries. She was taken to Birmingham Animal Hospital on April 24 and is now recovering.
Lurcher Harvey 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, Norfolk. He 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.
And two-year-old toy poodle Red was found in a garden in Ilford, London, after being tossed over a 7ft fence. She was collected on April 5 and rushed to Harmsworth Animal Hospital. She was underweight, covered in sores, heavily matted and had an infected eye. Red is now being taken care of in a foster home while officers investigate.
Since lockdown began, RSPCA rescuers have dealt with more than 31,000 incidents of animal cruelty, neglect and suffering animals which need help. It has received more than 112,000 calls from members of the public and there are now more than 4,600 animals in RSPCA care.
The dog breeds most likely to be abandoned during lockdown:
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 125
- German Shepherd – 41
- Bulldog – 39
- Jack Russell Terrier – 33
- Husky – 22
- Labrador – 20
- Lurcher – 19
- Akita – 14
- Mastiff – 14
- Collie – 11
The RSPCA has reminded the public there is no evidence to suggest that dogs can carry or pass Covid-19 to humans, and are urging pet owners not to panic at this time and not to abandon their dogs.
A spokesperson for the charity said: ‘Although much of the country is in lockdown, sadly there are still thousands of animals who need our help, including abandoned pets.
‘Many people are finding their pets are a real source of comfort in these anxious times and thankfully cases of abandonment are slightly lower than usual but it’s heartbreaking that some beautiful pets like Red are being dumped during this crisis.
‘In most cases we don’t know why pets are abandoned but it’s really important to remind people that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 can be passed from pets to people.’