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.
The charity said 40,595 animals were abandoned in 2011, compared with 24,638 in 2007, a near 65% increase.
Over the same period, and despite efficiency savings, the charity's running costs have risen 8% from £111m to £120m.
More top news
Colombian drug lord Daniel Barrera Barrera was fined $10m for manufacturing hundreds of tonnes of cocaine that he trafficked globally.
The 37-year-old Somali immigrant to Canada died after being beaten by several police officers, according to local media reports.
This evening it'll become largely dry across the UK as the showers in the west gradually die down.