RSPCA Christmas: On The Front Line Of Abandoned Pet Rescue

Abandoning Pets Is 'Not Like Throwing Out An Old Telly"

Christmas can be a tough time for pets, but this year animals are particularly vulnerable. Household finances are tight resulting in many pets being abandoned.

Fortunately, animal enthusiasts have come to the rescue, hoping to give lonely animals the best Christmas possible.

Tony Woodley has been an RSCPA inspector in Sussex for more than ten years and has dealt with many "awful" cases. He understands that people are desperate "but it's even worse at Christmas,” he says. “It's a time for families and for many they are a part of the family."

Woodley reflects that the RSPCA has witnessed an increase in abandonment "all the way through the year", which he suspects is due to the recession. His typical cases are call outs to dogs tied to railings or kittens in a box.

He adds that owners have "a moral obligation" even if money is tight.

"People should think of cutting other luxuries rather than abandonment. It's not like throwing out an old telly," he says.

The RSPCA is bracing itself for the coming week, as is Battersea Dogs Home. Last year Battersea received 60 dogs and 13 cats between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve... and it looks as though this year could be even worse.

However, the famous dogs home is striving to make Christmas as festive as possible for its residents.

Dogs will be treated to a Christmas walk around Battersea Park in their own hand-knitted jumper, lovingly made by supporters of the charity. There will be carols after Christmas lunch and heated beds for the cats.

Manager Lindsey Quinlan explains: "Our dogs don't have families to give them leftover turkey, and the cats won't get to play with anyone's Christmas wrapping paper. We have to make our kennels and cattery as enjoyable as possible."

The RSPCA will be in full operation as well. Woodley reassures: "We'll be out whatever the weather, whatever the time over the whole Christmas period".

Here are some of the puppies picked up by the Dogs Trust:


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