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RSPCA braces for surge in post-lockdown abandonments after 734 calls in West Yorkshire last year

Charity fears impact of Covid and financial downturn will see owners dumping pets in West Yorkshire

The RSPCA is bracing itself for a surge in abandoned animals and fears the fallout from the Covid crisis could see more owners struggling to keep their pets. 

Typically, the charity sees abandonment peak in the summer months.  Between June and August 2019, 16,519 animals were reported abandoned to the RSPCA which accounts for 30% of all animals reported abandoned that year.


During the summer months the charity received 734 reports about dumped animals in West Yorkshire.


This includes a poor rabbit who was found dumped in a cardboard animal carrier and left out with the rubbish on bin day in Huddersfield, last summer.


The male rabbit was found in Chalwood by a member of the public who spotted the box early that morning and realised just in time that there was an animal in need of help inside. The rabbit had been dumped without food or water but the kind member of the public gave him some food and water before contacting the RSPCA. 


RSPCA Inspector Emma Brook investigated and remembers: “This poor young rabbit was thrown out like rubbish and on bin collection day as well, he was very lucky that he was spotted when he was. The box wasn’t secure and the rabbit had clearly been quite stressed inside as he’d been jumping around and nibbling the box to try and get out. 


“Luckily, he was in a healthy condition and was cared for by the staff at the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and District branch who found him a new home.”


The RSPCA is braced for an even bigger impact this summer following the easing of lockdown and the financial impact on the coronavirus pandemic, and has launched an emergency appeal to continue its vital rescue work.

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