RSPCA staff and volunteers have seen an alarming increase in animals being abandoned across England and Wales and expect the situation to get worse over the winter months.
In Derbyshire 769 were abandoned between 1st January and 1st October this year, compared with a national figure of 29,770.
The charity is expecting around 140,000 calls in November and December alone, with around 50,000 animals needing help between now and Christmas.
Kelly Rivers, RSPCA Midlands superintendent, said: “Even in a nation of animal lovers, there are thousands of people out there who do not care about their pets at all. In fact, some literally treat them like rubbish.”
A spokesman for the charity said during one heartbreaking incident a distraught puppy who was dumped by her owners outside the gates of a midlands RSPCA animal hospital was seen chasing after their car as it sped away.
The RSPCA has launched a winter campaign which looks at the challenging winter work it faces, from the rise in abandonments to the increase in violence towards animals in the countdown to Christmas.
To help support the RSPCA’s campaign text RESCUE to 70800 to give £3.