Pet cruelty and abandonment is on a terrifying rise, which has lead to animal charities to struggle with an increase in demand.
A total of 38,087 abandonment reports were made to the RSPCA's cruelty line last year - an average of over 3,000 reports a month, 104 a day or four abandoned animals every hour.
In Wiltshire, there were 314 abandoned animals reported to the RSPCA in 2021 but a whopping 495 abandonment reports have been made in the county already this year (2022).
Heartbreakingly, the number of animals being dumped is also on the rise nationally with a 17% increase from 2020 to 2021 and a 24% increase in 2022.
Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “The idea of putting your cat in a cat carrier and taking them to a secluded spot in the woods before walking away, or chucking your dog out of the car and driving off leaving them desperately running behind the vehicle, is absolutely unthinkable and heartbreaking to most pet owners - but sadly we are seeing animals callously abandoned like this every single day.
“We understand that sometimes the unexpected can happen - the pandemic and cost of living crisis proved that - but there is never an excuse to abandon an animal. There are always other options for anyone who has fallen on hard times and can no longer afford to keep their pet.”
From January to July 2021 there were 18,375 abandonment reports compared to 22,908 in the first seven months of this year - a rise of 24%.
The charity also saw an increase in abandonments as more people are forced to give up their pets to cope with the cost of living crisis.
The RSPCA received 1,081,018 calls nationally to its Cruelty Line in 2021 and these included reports of;
● 1,094 killings or nearly three animals killed a day
● 632 mutilations or 12 animals brutally mutilated every week
● 7,857 beatings which equate to nearly one animal beaten every hour.
In Wiltshire, three abandoned chihuahuas were discovered in a cardboard box in a car park near Avebury stones on August 14.
The dogs, two older female chihuahuas named Babe and Tinkerbell, according to their microchips, and a younger male who has been named Ferdinand by the team caring for him.
All three were in poor condition and in need of urgent care and attention. Babe also had a severe open wound on her back right leg and had to have emergency surgery to remove the limb.