RSPCA 'bracing' itself for surge in abandoned animals as lockdown eases

A heavily pregnant Jack Russell was abandoned in a field in Surrey. Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA says it is bracing itself for a surge in abandoned animals as the lockdown eases.

Many people have taken on new pets during the pandemic as a source of comfort and support but the charity fears financial pressures will lead to them being abandoned.

A heavily pregnant Jack Russell, called Penny, was left in a box in a field in Surrey.

She was rushed to a veterinary surgery after being discovered by a dog walker.

Penny was abandoned in a box in a field in Surrey. Credit: RSPCA

Penny was covered in fleas and maggots, was dehydrated and had critically low blood glucose levels.

The vet team put her straight on a drip to get vital fluids into her body.

A scan showed Penny was carrying six puppies.

Just a day after she was rescued, she gave birth, but very sadly none of the puppies survived.

During the summer months the charity had nearly 180 calls a day about dumped animals, 5,600 were about cats and 6,400 were about dogs.

During the three months since lockdown began, the charity has received reports about 3,492 abandoned animals - about 40 calls a day - including 1,509 dogs, 1,165 cats, 299 small furries such as hamsters, guinea pigs and ferrets and 275 exotic pets.

The RSPCA's rescue teams have been working throughout lockdown after being classified as essential key workers.

The numbers of animals being cared for by the charity has risen by more than 1,500 to 5,600 during the pandemic.

The charity is urging anyone struggling with their pet to ask for help.