Fears Covid-19 could lead to more dumped animals in Dorset

Fears Covid-19 could lead to more dumped animals in Dorset

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:15am 8th July 2020.

The RSPCA in Dorset is encouraging pet owners who are struggling to look after their animals, to seek help.  

The animal charity fears the impact of COVID-19 and the financial turndown will lead to more animals being abandoned.

The problem usually peaks in the summer, between June and August.

Kittens dumped

Last year the charity received 202 reports about dumped animals in Dorset, which included two rabbits abandoned in a pet carrier in Ferndown.

Suzanne Norbury works for RSCPA Dorset. She told Wessex FM: 

"This time of the year in the summer months we see a rise in abandoned animals. We're never quite sure why. 

"We're more concerned this year with the coronavirus and the impact that's having on people financially, and we're worried that we're going to see more abandoned animals than in years before.

"It's a really busy time for our team and it's coming off the back of what has been a really busy time during the pandemic."

Dumped puppy

Suzanne said animals can be mentally as well as physically affected by their abandonment:

"We never known what the circumstances are that the animal comes to us from but when we do find some that have been abandoned, they are in a terrible state.

"It takes our care centre teams, to work with these animals to get them ready to find new homes, so it can have a huge impact on the animals welfare."

RSPCA Dorset say they have seen the number of animals in their care rise during the lockdown period, but it's hard to know what the cause is. 

If you are struggling to cope with your pet, you can do the following:

  • Ask friends and family for help.
  • Contact your vet about payment plans, discounts or vouchers for neutering or any other treatment needed.
  • Get in touch with local rehoming charities for advice.
  • Visit the RSPCA website for welfare advice.