The RSPCA says it's 'bracing' itself for what could be a surge in abandoned pets this winter.
The charity dealt with more than 3000 cases of neglect in the West Midlands last winter. Since then, there was the surge in people taking on pets during lockdown.
The charity says the financial pressure caused by the pandemic could also make things worse.
Herchy Boal, RSPCA Inspector said: “There are varying reasons but mostly it's because a dog or cat might have been bought during lockdown and then when people are now off furlough and going back to work, that suddenly doesn't fit into their schedule."
It's not considering that when they go back to work, what their patterns are going to be. We definitely have animals that are abandoned around Christmas time, we just fear it will be even worse because of the pandemic.
Reported incidents to the animal charity last Christmas:
Incidents in the West Midlands
Incidents in Northamptonshire
Incidents in Leicestershire
Meanhwile, Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA’s animal rescue teams, said: “Christmas may be different for many people this year but for the RSPCA, our teams will be working day in, day out, as usual, rescuing, caring and rehabilitating those animals who need us the most.
"Last year, we rescued thousands of animals over the winter months and we fear that due to the pandemic, we could be facing our toughest Christmas yet as we are braced for a rise in abandoned and neglected animals needing our help.”
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