RSPCA expecting surge in abandoned pets in Northamptonshire this summer as lockdown eases

More than 200 animals were abandoned in the county between June and August last year
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An animal charity, which rescues animals when they are left alone, is preparing for a spike in abandoned pets this summer.

RSPCA normally sees a peak in abandonment during the summer months, typically between June and August.

Last year, during those months, 285 reports of dumped animals were made in Northamptonshire.

Dolly was abandoned in August last year.Dolly was abandoned in August last year.
Dolly was abandoned in August last year.

Just over the county border, in Wymington, close to Rushden, a female Dachshund was dumped in an alley and was thought to have recently given birth, but sadly there was no sign of her puppies.

The dog, named Dolly by RSPCA staff, was discovered by a member of the public in the early hours one morning in August 2019, alone, frightened, and lactating.

RSPCA inspector, Sally Kearns, said: “Poor Dolly’s story was tragic. She had been left in a small, metal dog crate with a red fleece blanket and a water bowl, in the middle of night, which suggested someone had deliberately done this to avoid being seen.

“We suspected she was just four or five when she was dumped, and had been used as a breeding bitch to churn out litter after litter of desirable and valuable dachshund puppies, before being cast aside.

“Despite her ordeal, she was a sweet, friendly girl but was nervous and in poor condition.

“Though her puppies were never found, Dolly was looked after by a fosterer and found a loving new home.”

This year the charity is bracing itself for an even bigger impact due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the charity has dealt with fewer abandonment reports during lockdown, it is worried that as lockdown eases pets will start to get left behind.

Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA’s animal rescue teams, said: “During lockdown we’ve seen pets become a source of comfort and support for people and it appears many people have taken on new animals.

“Fortunately during this time we’ve dealt with fewer abandoned pets however we are worried that as lockdown eases, people return to work, go on holidays or struggle financially we will be facing a massive surge of animal abandonment.

“Sadly summer tends to bring with it a surge in abandoned animals. We don’t know why but it may be a combination of the warmer weather making people feel less guilty about dumping a pet to fend for themselves and people doing away on holiday abandoning pets instead of arranging care for them.

“I’d urge anyone struggling with their pet to ask for help. Animals have been there to help us through the crisis, please don’t abandon them now.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with a pet, the RSPCA advises you to ask friends and family for help, get in touch with local rehoming charities or visit the RSPCA website for more advice.

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