The 29th of June isn’t a random date. In many European countries, it goes hand in hand with the start of the summer holiday departures. But sadly, along with this happy escapism, comes a notably high increase in the number of pets that are abandoned.
Abandonment on the increase
Figures show that the RSPCA received 10,000 calls about animals being abandoned in just 3 months’ time in the summer of 2017 – a 50% increase in comparison to the amount that were being abandoned during the rest of the year.
Dermot Murphy, the RSPCA’s assistant director, says the reason behind this can only be speculated:
“There’s no saying why people choose to abandon their animals, or why this rises in the summer — possibly people dump their animals when they head off on holiday and haven’t found anyone to look after their pet when they’re away. Maybe they feel less guilty, leaving a pet to fend for itself in the warmer weather, compared to the cold winter months.”
Animal shelters across the country are struggling to cope with the amount of animals coming through their doors each year. In 2018, 102,900 animals were rescued and collected by the RSPCA alone.
Big and small, pet rescues are over-flowing with residents, and in some cases, are struggling to finance their survival.
Ways to fight pet abandonment
To celebrate World Day Against Pet Abandonment, the French group ‘Solidarité Refuges' and 'Animaux Online’ proposed 13 simple points they would like their government to adopt in order to fight the summer flux of homeless pets.
While the UK’s many animal welfare charities, along with regulations set up by the Animal Welfare Act of 2006, already cover many of these points, there are always improvements to be made.
• Reinforced regulations when it comes to selling and buying pets online (which remains un-recommended)
• School programs including classes on empathy towards animals
• Animals that are not destined for reproduction must be sterilised
• Cities must pay subsidies to fund the local councils which take in strays
• Retirement homes must accept animals
• Cities must develop temporary care structures for pets whose owners had to be urgently hospitalised
Wamiz UK is proud to be a partner of this Day, which we hope will help shed light on pet abandonment during the summer and its need to stop.