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Animal abandonments soar 53 per cent in the West Midlands in three years

The number of cases where animals have been abandoned have soared sharply in the West Midlands, the RSPCA has warned.

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Abandoned kittens found in Birmingham

The animal welfare charity has released shocking new statistics that show abandonments have been spiraling amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Already this year, up to the end of October, the animal welfare charity has received 17,838 reports of abandoned animals across England and Wales – which, if such trends continue, would equate to 21,417 reports over 2023.

This compares with 16,118 reports during the whole of 2020, meaning the RSPCA is on course to see a 32.9 per cent rise in abandonment calls this year.

It is higher too than the number of reports received in 2021 (17,179) and 2022 (19,645).

And in the West Midlands, the charity is on course to receive 1,351 reports of animal abandonment this year – marking a 53.1 per cent rise on the number of reports received in the community in 2020.

Dermot Murphy, who heads the RSPCA frontline rescue teams, said: “The combined effects of the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis has created a perfect storm – and means we expect more animals than ever will need our help this year.

"Abandonment calls to our emergency line are now at a three-year high, as we respond to an increasing number of animals being given up and dumped.

“Behind these shocking statistics are thousands of vulnerable animals. Each one is a valuable life in urgent need of our help.

“We’re desperately concerned about the coming winter months in the West Midlands – abandonments have soared and many rescue centres are full to bursting, so we are facing an unprecedented winter crisis.

“Our rescue teams are set to be busier than ever this Christmas, so we need animal lovers to join the Christmas rescue and donate to help us be there for animals in desperate need as neglect and abandonment soars.”

In May, the RSPCA was contacted after three young kittens were found abandoned beside a road in a plastic bag in Birmingham.

The young black and white cats, who were just a few weeks old, were named Harry, Ron and Hermione after Harry Potter characters.

The cats were then taken into the care of the team at RSPCA Coventry and District Branch.

Dermot added: “For nearly 200 years, the RSPCA has been working tirelessly to bring animals to safety and give them the expert treatment and compassion they deserve.

“We’ll continue to do so for as long as we’re needed but we can’t do that without the support of fellow animal lovers. Together, we could save more lives.

“The support of the public helps neglected and abandoned animals in so many ways – from buying soft, warm bedding and nourishing food for an animal who’s desperately cold and hungry, to funding vital vet care for an animal who’s suffering and in pain.”

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