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Since lockdown there have been over 73 reports of abandoned animals in Surrey and Hampshire

3 minute read
Since lockdown there have been over 73 reports of abandoned animals in Surrey and Hampshire

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:00am 23rd May 2020.

While many people are finding their pets a comfort during the coronavirus crisis, animals are still being abandoned. 

That is according to the RSPCA who have received over 73 reports in Surrey and Hampshire since lockdown began. 

The charity has released the figures as part of its emergency appeal, launched to keep its rescue teams out on the road during the pandemic. 

One incident saw 13 domestic rats dumped in Vicarage Fields in Walton on Thames, in April.

They had been left in a box in a field behind a block of flats, but it had broken and many were running free.

The rats were collected by Animal Collection Officer Natasha Clarke and taken to the RSPCA’s Millbrook Animal Centre, in Chobham, where one had to be put to sleep due to cancer. 

Rats abandoned in Surrey

Since the Government introduced the lockdown measures on 23 March, the RSPCA has responded to more than 27,000 incidents in England and Wales, with 1,600 incidents of abandoned animals reported.

While the number of animals being cared for by the charity at centres, hospitals and vet surgeries has also grown by hundreds.

Dermot Murphy, head of RSPCA rescue teams, said there are still thousands of animals who need their help, including abandoned pets: 

“Many people are finding their pets are a real source of comfort in these anxious times and thankfully cases of abandonment are slightly lower than usual but it’s heartbreaking that some animals are being dumped during this crisis.

“In most cases, we don’t know why pets are abandoned but it’s really important to remind people that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 can be passed from pets to people.

“There is lots of help and support out there for anyone else struggling to get animal food, with health or behavioural issues, exercising their pets or managing to keep children safe around pets.

"Please don’t be afraid to ask for help."