Despite much campaigning and a growing array of dog-sitting services made available, it is still a sad reality that many dogs and cats find themselves abandoned during the summer months.
According to the RSPCA, last year their inspectors were called out to 2,751 animals in need, with a peak in admissions in July. Overall, it was one abandoned animal every hour.
Superintendent Simon Osborne said, "Every day our inspectors face cases where animals have been left abandoned in fields, dumped in boxes, left for dead at the side of roads and even left outside our animal centres and hospitals. It is just heartbreaking. These poor animals are often just dumped without a care for their welfare or what might happen to them. We will never know why these animals are just discarded like rubbish. All we know is that there is a real peak in the number of abandonments in the summer months – July in particular – and it is animal welfare charities like us at the RSPCA that are left to pick up the pieces."
Among the dogs abandoned so far this summer are Rose, who nearly drowned in a pond after being abandoned and was saved thanks to emergency treatment, and Bertie - a tiny Yorkie found in a dust bin in a dreadful state. Bertie was underweight, with matted fur and a severe dental disease that required all but seven of his teeth to be pulled out. Both Rose and Bertie are well on the road to recovery now, and both will hopefully be up for adoption soon - but there are many more in need of help.
"There is a huge strain on our resources at this time of year," Simon says. "Many abandoned animals that are rescued by the RSPCA are very badly neglected and poorly so need urgent vet care and often hospital treatment."
The estimated cost to provide care for the abandoned animals the RSPCA expects to receive over the summer will amount to about £780,000, and the charity is now asking for donation to ensure that no animal is left behind.
Images by RSPCA.