RSPCA plea not to dump animals after rats abandoned in cage in Wallsend in freezing conditions
The RSPCA is urging people not to abandon their animals after four pet rats were left in a sodden cage in freezing conditions.
The animals were abandoned in their cage in undergrowth off a footpath in Wallsend.
The RSPCA said they had been left with water and cake to eat, but their cage was dirty and wet as it had been snowing and raining.
RSPCA Inspector Jaqui Miller said: “This little group of pet rats were vulnerable to predators, not to mention the inclement weather, so it was fortunate they were spotted - particularly as it was dark at the time. Sadly two of them were in a poor condition with nasty looking tumour-like masses which had been left untreated.
“Abandoning pets in this way is never the answer and we’d urge anyone who is struggling to look after their animals - at what is a very difficult economic time for many people - to seek advice and support.”
The rats were found at the back of houses near Telford Court at about 7pm on Sunday 12 March.
The two remaining rats are in RSPCA care and will be rehomed when they have made a recovery.
The charity said its officers dealt with 1,324 incidents of animals being abandoned in February and a further 1,529 in January.
It said it thinks the cost of living crisis, coupled with the expected financial pressures on pet owners during the festive season, may have led to the upsurge.
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