The RSPCA has said it is “bracing” itself for a spate of abandoned animal cases over the summer.
An abandonment peak is “typically” seen in the summer, the RSPCA said, with 16,519 animals reported abandoned between June and August of last year, accounting for 30% of all cases.
However, the charity has warned that more pet owners may be struggling to keep their pets in light of the pandemic.
In light of this, the group has launched an emergency appeal to help it continue rescue operations for abandoned animals.
It comes as the group noted that since lockdown began in March, it has received reports of 3,492 abandoned animals, which equates to 40 calls a day, including 1,509 dogs, 1,165 cats, 299 small furries, such as hamsters, guinea pigs and ferrets, and 275 exotic pets.
Dermot Murphy, head of animal rescue teams, said: “During lockdown we’ve seen pets become a source of comfort and support for people and it appears many people have taken on new animals.
“Fortunately during this time we’ve dealt with fewer abandoned pets however we are worried that as lockdown eases, people return to work, go on holidays or struggle financially we will be facing a massive surge of animal abandonments.”
He added: “Sadly summer tends to bring with it a surge in abandoned animals. We don’t know why but it may be a combination of the warmer weather making people feel less guilty about dumping a pet to fend for themselves and people doing away on holiday abandoning pets instead of arranging care for them.”