Pet owners are abandoning their animals at a rate of one every hour because they want to go on holiday, figures from the RSPCA reveal.
Last year 2,812 animals were rescued by the animal welfare charity between July and September, with July accounting for 1,087 of admissions.
The RSPCA is now bracing itself for another influx of dumped animals this summer.
In many cases seen across England and Wales pets were left for dead.
Some of the more disturbing cases seen by the RSPCA so far this year include Rose the English bull terrier who was found drowning in a pond and Peanut the lurcher puppy who was left for dead under a bush in Essex.
RSPCA Supt Simon Osborne said that people often think that Christmas is when most animals are abandoned, but in reality it is during the summer months.
He said: “Every day our inspectors face cases where animals have been left abandoned in fields, dumped in boxes, left for dead at the side of roads and even left outside our animal centres and hospitals.
“It is just heartbreaking. These poor animals are often just dumped without a care for their welfare or what might happen to them.
“We will never know why these animals are just discarded like rubbish. It could be for any number of reasons.
“Whether it is the fact that more pets are abandoned in the summer because the novelty of their Christmas present pet has worn off by the summer, they don’t want the responsibility of finding someone to look after their pet while they are away on holiday or whether more pets are found dumped because of the longer daylight hours we will never know.
“It could be any number of reasons.
“All we know is that there is a real peak in the number of abandonments in the summer months - July in particular - and it is animal welfare charities like us at the RSPCA that are left to pick up the pieces.”
The RSPCA inspector said that many of the animals that come into the RSPCA’s care are neglected and sick, often requiring urgent veterinary care and hospital treatment.
The RSPCA is urging people to research before getting a new pet to ensure they are able to provide care for the animal for its entire life.
He added: “If pet owners are going away on holiday we would urge them to make sure their pet is cared for by asking friends or family to care for them, call a pet sitter or take them to a licensed boarding establishment.
“Every year the RSPCA and other animal welfare charities also see an increase in the number of young animals that come on to their care at this time of year after unplanned pregnancies result in unwanted litters - which is why we always advise people to get their pets neutered.”
Other harrowing cases seen by the animal welfare charity this year include Maverick the Staffordshire Bull Terrier who was abandoned at London Victoria coach station because his owners wanted to go on holiday and Bertie the Yorkshire terrier who was dumped in a wheelie bin in Essex.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home reported a similar summertime crisis last year.
The London-based rehoming centre saw a huge increase in calls from owners who no longer wanted their pets in the first week of the summer holidays.
A shocking 204% rise in calls was recorded, which the charity believed was linked to people going on holiday and not having anyone to look after their dog or being able to afford boarding kennels.
Also on HuffPost
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more