Message from RSPCA as 300 animals 'callously abandoned' in Cumbria in past year

The RSPCA say 182 animals have already been reported as abandoned in Cumbria this year Credit: RSPCA
  • Warning this report contains images of animal cruelty.

Pets are being "callously abandoned" every day in the UK - with more than 300 dumped animals reported to the RSCPA in Cumbria in the past year.

Following a large rise in animal ownership during the pandemic and as the cost of living bites, the charity has reported 182 animals abandoned between January and July in the area this year, an increase of 8% compared to the same period in 2021.

A total of 38,087 abandonment reports were made to the charity’s cruelty line nationally last year. This is an average of more than 3,000 a month, 104 a day and four every hour.

The number of animals being dumped is on the rise nationally with a 17% increase from 2020 to 2021 and a 24% increase in 2022.

In Cumbria, the body of a mother dog was found dumped in a remote ditch after suffering a trauma to her head and fears were raised for the safety of her puppies.

A shocked dog walker came across a large pool of blood in an area of Sowerby Wood, off Lingley Close, Carlisle, on 23 June at about 8am.

He went to investigate and came across the bloodied body of a young brindle greyhound dog in a nearby ditch. 

The man reported the matter to the RSPCA and inspector Chris Towler was sent to the scene.

The body of a mother dog was found abandoned in Cumbria. Credit: RSPCA

He took the dog’s body to a nearby vet who confirmed the greyhound had died as a result of a blow to the head - consistent with either a blunt instrument or rock being used.

A scan revealed the three-year-old dog was microchipped and called Lass.

An investigation showed she was originally registered to an address in Carlisle but the details had not been kept up to date.

An examination showed her teats were swollen which indicated she had nursed puppies recently.

Chris believes the dog was taken to the area to be deliberately killed.

  • Interview with RSPCA Inspector Carl Larsson.

The charity says a huge rise in pet ownership during the pandemic, coupled with the cost of living crisis putting a strain on people’s finances - means even more animals are being given up this year.

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “The idea of putting your cat in a cat carrier and taking them to a secluded spot in the woods before walking away, or chucking your dog out of the car and driving off leaving them desperately running behind the vehicle, is absolutely unthinkable and heartbreaking to most pet owners - but sadly we are seeing animals callously abandoned like this every single day. 

“We understand that sometimes the unexpected can happen - the pandemic and cost of living crisis proved that - but there is never an excuse to abandon an animal.

"There are always other options for anyone who has fallen on hard times and can no longer afford to keep their pet.”

A recent report released by the RSPCA in partnership with the Scottish SPCA showed that the cost of living crisis is the most urgent threat to pet welfare in the UK.

The Animal Kindness Index showed that:

  • 78% of pet owners think the cost of living will impact their animals.

  • Almost seven out of 10 (68%) expressed concern that the cost of animals care was increasing.

  • A fifth (19%) worried about how they’ll afford to feed their pets.