Animal charity warns of 'busiest year yet' as more people abandon pets before Christmas

  • Watch: ITV News' Charlotte Gay went to see the puppies

Animal charities in Cornwall have said they fear they are facing their busiest year with dogs being abandoned in the lead-up to Christmas.

The charity says that it is seeing a particular increase in the number of bigger dogs needing re-homing following the recent XL Bully ban.

Louise Clarke-Payne, Centre Manager at National Animal Welfare Trust, said the number of calls the charity receives is increasing.

"People are wanting to relinquish larger animals because they can't afford to keep them anymore, whether it's losing their homes or jobs, or just the general cost of living."

"Sometimes it's because vet bills have increased so much and they don't have a really costly operation that they can't afford to do," she said.

It comes after a litter of puppies were recently found in a "shocking state" at a house in West Cornwall.

National Animal Welfare Trust said the three spaniel cross pups were found in such poor condition that rescuers needed to wear boiler suits and gloves to handle them.

The charity added the puppies were in a cage which was littered with urine and faeces and that their legs were "stained yellow".

When rescuers arrived, the puppies had their tails "tucked right up to their tummies," Keran Gilmore, from the National Animal Welfare Trust, said.

She said: "We very rarely wear proper PPE, barrier clothing and that. But the dog warden said, 'You're going to need to put something on, aprons, gloves.'

"They were in a bit of a state and as soon as we opened the door we could smell them and we definitely needed the gear on," she added.

The puppies, Candy, Pumpkin and Ghost, were then taken to a rescue centre and are recovering well.