An animal charity is expecting a surge in abandoned animals across the region over the summer.
The RSPCA is warning of an animal abandonment crisis after figures suggest an 85% increase in the number of reports of dumped pets during the hotter months, in comparison to the colder months.
In the summer of 2018, there were more than 1,400 reports of abandoned animals across Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey and Buckinghamshire.
Number of abandoned animals reported in the South East in summer 2018:
Kent - 581
West Sussex - 180
East Sussex - 245
Surrey - 276
Buckinghamshire - 180
reports across the region in summer 2018
Throughout June, July and August last year, the RSPCA received 23,673 calls about dumped animals, equating to one call every 6 minutes.
In comparison, there were 12,785 calls throughout December, January and February 2018.
Dermot Murphy, RSPCA’S Chief Inspectorate Officer, says: “Sadly, we see a dramatic increase in the number of animals abandoned in the summer. From unwanted newborn kittens and puppies dumped in boxes and bins, exotic pets cast aside or horses abandoned in someone else’s field, dumped like rubbish.
“There is never an excuse to abandon an animal in this way and we would urge anyone who is struggling to cope with their pets to contact us or other charities for help. Our pets are sentient beings and great companions who rely on us for their health and happiness so dumping them like an old mobile phone or a piece of rubbish should never be the answer.
“The peak in animals being abandoned in the summer puts a massive strain on our inspectors, animal centres and branches who are left picking up the pieces when an animal is dumped.”
Watch Lauren Hall's report below