There were 325 animals reported as abandoned in Wales last December (2018) and more than 4,000 animals were dumped during the festive season across England and Wales.

Cat Cardiff appeal 17Dec18 pic1Flintshire saw 46 abandoned animals reported to the RSPCA’s cruelty line last December, followed by 42 in Neath Port Talbot and 33 animals in Carmarthenshire. Sadly, the charity is already caring for many animals abandoned around the country this festive season.

The RSPCA is urging people to help them care for animals spending Christmas in its centres and hospitals with its Stock the Sleigh campaign, asking for help providing anything from food, medicine, to a warm blanket, treats and toys.

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “Christmas is a busy time for us, as sadly cruelty and abandonments do not stop over the festive season and our staff work tirelessly to rescue and care for animals in need.

“Last year, there were 1,684 dogs reported as abandoned in December and 1,678 abandoned in January, and there were more dogs than any other animal being abandoned over the festive period. We understand that people’s circumstances can change which may mean they can no longer cope with their pet but there is never an excuse to abandon any animal like this, as there are other options available to people who are struggling to care for their pets. Dumping a pet leaves the animal extremely scared and vulnerable, especially in the cold winter months

“We would urge anyone considering getting a pet to think carefully about whether they have the time, care, patience, and resources to care for that animal for the rest of their life and if you feel you really do, then please consider giving a rescue pet a second chance this new year.”

Mice ivLast year, eight guinea pigs were left abandoned in a rural car park near Abergavenny over the Christmas period. It was thought that the guinea pigs – who were all quite young but of various ages – were found loose under a large bush and were likely to have been dumped in between Christmas Day and New Years Eve.

While 40 pet mice abandoned in a box at Cheshire Oaks last December and a cat was put in a rucksack and dumped in a wheelie bin in Cardiff in December 2018.

Abandoned Shetland pony Tink, who was dumped alone in a field up to her waist in mud, is helping other needy animals this Christmas as the star of the RSPCA’s festive film ‘Santa’s Littlest Helper’. Watch her star turn here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfD7X6RawXg

It costs around £670,000 to run an RSPCA centre for a year. You can make a generous donation to Stock the Sleigh and help animals in our care.

£7 could keep an animal warm with a soft and cosy blanket
£15 could give the gift of comfort – a warm blanket, treats and toys
£25 could give the gift of safety – it could help answer a phone call, provide a safe bed and food
£40 could give the gift of care – providing essential veterinary care and medicines

This winter, the RSPCA expects to take in more than 10,000 animals in need. To help us deliver vital supplies to thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned animals left out in the cold this Christmas, visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness and watch your virtual gift fill up our sleigh with a grateful wag from Sprout the dog.