The RSPCA receives more calls about animal neglect than any other issue during the winter months, receiving on average one call every four minutes.
While many people are busy Christmas shopping, going on winter walks or cooking a family dinner, others are having to make a call to the RSPCA.
The figures show the shocking reality that while most will be getting excited in the build up to Christmas, the work of the RSPCA never stops, and it’s animal neglect that is the biggest concern during the winter months. (Based on 2015 figures.)
The charity has today launched its ‘Love Animals, Hate Cruelty’ winter campaign which aims to bring these issues to the attention of our animal-loving nation and remind people that amongst the celebrations in the build up to the festive season, a huge number of calls are being made to report neglect.
From animals left without shelter or adequate food and water, to those left with painful untreated injuries or illness, statistics show that from October 2015 to January 2016, 45,176 calls were made to the RSPCA about animals suffering due to neglect.
This works out at 15 calls every single hour, not to mention the huge number of other calls the charity receives on top of this relating to other issues like abandonment and deliberate acts of cruelty.
Some of the more upsetting neglect cases the RSPCA saw last winter include:
- A four-year old pony found tied up with a chain cutting into her skin.
- A 12-year old Jack Russell found with an untreated tumour the size of a football
- A bearded dragon neglected so severely he developed a fatal condition
- A litter of three week-old kittens that tragically died of anaemia caused by a chronic flea infestation
The trend looks to have begun again this winter, as only last week the RSPCA took in a dog suffering from such a severe untreated skin condition, she has virtually no fur left. The dog, now named ‘Ivy’ (pictured right) is at RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital and is responding well to treatment.
RSPCA superintendent Simon Osborne said:
“It’s a sad fact that every day at work throughout the year can be tough for our inspectors and animal welfare and collection officers, but winter really does come with its own challenges and issues. In fact, we expect to take in somewhere in the region of 19,000 animals this winter alone.
“The fact that every four minutes during winter somebody calls us to report neglect to animals is shocking, especially when you add that to all the other calls we receive at the same time about other welfare issues. It really hits home just what we are up against.
“Issues such as animals not been provided with a suitable environment to shelter from the harsh weather and not being given enough food and water to keep them healthy despite the cold and damp are common complaints made to us.”
Along with highlighting the winter issues faced by inspectors who are out on the ground tirelessly tackling animal neglect and cruelty, the national charity is also reminding people that it’s not all doom and gloom – as a nation of pet lovers, it’s important to celebrate the love we have for not only our pets, but wildlife and farm animals too.
You can help the RSPCA to continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care. Support their winter Love Animals, Hate Cruelty campaign and visit the RSPCA Winter Campaign