The RSPCA says hundreds of animals are being abandoned by their owners and many dumped like rubbish by the roadside. The charity is worried the situation will get even worse as the weather gets colder and we get closer to Christmas.
One animal sanctuary in Exeter is having to deal with the problem increasingly.
The RSPCA says it's getting more reports of animal cruelty and neglect than ever, but is doing its best to tackle what it's calling 'an ever growing crisis'. Last year the charity secured more convictions for animal cruelty in Somerset than anywhere else in the south of England.
Karen Griggs reports:
The RSPCA says animal cruelty in the region has risen to record levels.
New figures show that last year it successfully prosecuted 67 people in the South West who were responsible for 275 crimes against animals. More than 100 of those were in Somerset.
A man who had his dog seized after hurling it into the sea in Devon will be reunited with the pet after a court heard he was "an animal lover".
Paul Sanders was said to have shouted: "This is how you get your dog to swim" as he lobbed his terrified 10-year-old collie Shep from the pier at Babbacombe Bay, Torquay.
Shocked onlookers - including horrified children - screamed as unemployed Sanders, who was only wearing swimming trucks at the time, grabbed his dog and pushed it off a stone wall, plunging 15ft into the sea.