Following on from the warnings issued by the Blue Cross last month, the RSPCA has added its voice to the chorus of concern about rising levels of animal cruelty, neglect and abandonment in the UK.
The charity has reported an incredible 65 per cent increase in the number of animals abandoned over the last five years, amounting to potentially 40,000 animals in need of care. It suggests the financial turmoil that has affected so many over the last few years is the central factor behind the spike.
Rescue charities are now becoming overwhelmed with the sheer number of animals in need of help, RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant stated.
“The recession may be over but these are very dark times for its silent victims, the animals. They have never needed our help so desperately,” he said.
He issued a call to action for the UK’s animal lovers to turn the tide.
“This is a real crisis and despite the immense dedication of our staff and volunteers, we are struggling to cope. We really need our country’s animal lovers to step forward and open their hearts, homes and purses in these extremely difficult times,” Mr Grant urged.
The RSPCA also reported that public support for animals has faltered in recent years, with the number of new homes available for rescued animals shrinking. Some 4,000 fewer dogs and 6,000 fewer cats were adopted in 2011 compared to 2009, with further decline in 2012.
To make matters worse, it is suggested that animal cruelty and neglect is also on the rise, with a 23.5 per cent rise in convictions for relevant crimes over the past five years.
If you wish to explore adopting a pet in need, a large number of rescue charities are available. Alternatively, the RSPCA is requesting donations to its Animal Welfare Crisis Appeal here.