– RSPCA chief executive Gavin Gran
The recession may be over but these are very dark times for its silent victims - the animals. They have never needed our help so desperately.
This is a real crisis and despite the immense dedication of our staff and volunteers, we are struggling to cope.
We really need our country's animal lovers to step forward and open their hearts, homes and purses in these extremely difficult times.
Almost 16,000 more animals were abandoned last year than in 2007, according to the RSPCA, who warned that pet owners are struggling to make ends meet in times of economic hardship.