RSPCA says 'lockdown pets' are being abandoned in Cornwall as owners head back to work

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The RSPCA in Cornwall says it is seeing a rising number of pets taken on during the Covid pandemic being handed back as people return to normal life.

The charity is struggling to find new homes for many of the animals at its headquarters in St Columb.

In 2020 the branch re-homed 267 animals - and many of them were taken on during lockdown and then abandoned.

The RSPCA says isolation can affect animals' mental health. Credit: ITV News

Sammy Howard, from the charity, said: "We find quite a lot of people don't have the patience anymore.

"They will take them home, then the reality hits them that they are then with this animal and the next day they say 'I can't cope'.

"It's very frustrating. Unfortunately it's a bit of a throwaway society these days."

Three-year-old Basher is looking for a new home. Credit: ITV News

As more people transition from home working back to offices, the charity is worried some animals may struggle to adapt to being left alone.

Sammy said: "A dog's mental health is just as complex as a person's. People just don't see it.

"Just because a dog can't speak, doesn't mean the feelings aren't there.

"They just display it by chewing, or barking, or any other undesirable behaviours. There is always a reason and a route you can work with, but people just choose the easier route of giving them up instead."

If you are interested in adopting a pet, there is plenty of information available online.