The RSPCA is bracing for a surge in abandoned animals after the coronavirus crisis.

It says it fears the fallout from Covid-19  could see more owners struggling to keep their pets. 

Summer usually sees a peak in the number of abandoned pets, according to the charity which has an Isle of Wight base at Godshill.

In 2019, on the Island, the charity received 17 reports about dumped animals at this time.

Scroll down for advice if you are struggling to care for an animal...

The RSPCA fears that could get worse following the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nationally, in the three months since lockdown began, the RSPCA received reports about 3,492 abandoned animals including:

  • 1,509 dogs 
  • 1,165 cats 
  • 299 small furries (hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets)
  • 275 exotic pets

Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA’s animal rescue teams, said: “During lockdown we’ve seen pets become a source of comfort and support for people and it appears many people have taken on new animals. Fortunately during this time we’ve dealt with fewer abandoned pets however we are worried that as lockdown eases, people return to work, go on holidays or struggle financially we will be facing a massive surge of animal abandonments.

"Summer tends to bring with it a surge in abandoned animals."

“Sadly summer tends to bring with it a surge in abandoned animals. We don’t know why but  it may be a combination of the warmer weather making people feel less guilty about dumping a pet to fend for themselves and people doing away on holiday abandoning pets instead of arranging care for them.”

The numbers of animals being cared for by the RSPCA, across the UK, is 5,600.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Before and after - how rescue by the RSPCA helped this puppy

Dermot Murphy said: “This is the toughest year yet for the RSPCA despite the huge challenges, our amazing teams have been continuing to rescue animals throughout this crisis. 

“I’d urge anyone struggling with their pet to ask for help. Animals have been there to help us through the crisis, please don’t abandon them now.”

What to do if you are struggling to care for an animal...

If you are struggling, the RSPCA says:

  • 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 (HERE) for welfare advice

The charity has launched a fundraising appeal. Find it HERE.