Cat found in box as RSPCA reports heartbreaking rise in abandoned pets in Lancashire
The RSPCA has revealed it was called to rescue an injured cat that had been abandoned in a bag next to a house in Lancashire, as reports of abandoned animals rose.
The semi-long-haired cat was suffering from an eye infection when he was found lying in a box that had been placed inside a black pet carrier bag in February.
The eight-year-old cat was taken from Highfield Road to South Shore and moved to a cattery used by the Fylde branch of the RSPCA where kind staff named him Belvedere.
The Belvedere story is one of hundreds of heartbreaking reports of abandoned animals made to the RSPCA in Lancashire over the past year.
The charity receives four reports of abandoned animals every hour and this year there has been a 31% increase in reports of abandonment in Lancashire from 2021.
Of more than a million calls made to the RSPCA Cruelty Line last year, 1,094 were about murders and reports of animals being brutally mutilated, or 12 a week.
Dermot Murphy, RSPCA Chief Inspector, said: ‘The idea of putting your cat in a carrier and taking her to a secluded spot in the woods before wandering off, or throwing your dog out out of the car and leaving leaving them to run desperately behind the vehicle is absolutely unthinkable and heartbreaking for most pet owners – but sadly we see pets abandoned like this every day.”
The charity fears that a huge increase in the number of pet owners during the pandemic, coupled with the cost of living crisis, which is straining people’s finances, will mean that even more pets are dropped this year.
A recent survey showed that 78% of pet owners think the cost of living will have an impact on their pets, with almost seven in ten expressing concern about the rising cost of care.
A fifth of pet owners also worry about how they will be able to feed their pets.
Murphy continued: “We understand that sometimes the unexpected can happen – the pandemic and the cost of living crisis have proven it – but there is never an excuse for giving up an animal.
“There are always other options for anyone who has fallen on hard times and can no longer afford to keep their pet.”
The survey also showed that cat owners seem to be most affected and concerned by cost of living pressures.
The worrying investigation comes at a time when the charity is at its busiest when calls and reports of cruelty soar during the summer months.
The charity’s Cancel Out Cruelty campaign aims to save helpless and abused animals in need this summer.
To help support animals, you can visit the website here.
If you can’t donate, there are other ways to help undo cruelty, by volunteering with the RSPCA, hosting a bake sale or fundraiser, or taking part in the #Challenge# 50MilesForAnimals.