No room at the inn for unwanted pets

IT is a case of no room at the inn for pets at the RSPCA centre in Martlesham this Christmas.Since the beginning of December, eight dogs, four rabbits and five cats have been dropped off at the Mill Lane centre in need of a new home.

IT is a case of no room at the inn for pets at the RSPCA centre in Martlesham this Christmas.

Since the beginning of December, eight dogs, four rabbits and five cats have been dropped off at the Mill Lane centre in need of a new home.

Kieron Adams, manager at the centre, claimed this figure is higher than usual, and reflects the national trend of an increase in animals being abandoned around this time of year.

The charity's animal centres in England and Wales took in more than 2,200 animals last December -the equivalent of 75 animals a day- either directly from members of the public, or abandoned.

The Martlesham centre is now at bursting point and Miss Adams says it will remain at full capacity until well after Christmas as the re-homing process can take several weeks.

Miss Adams said: “We are absolutely full at the moment and have to turn people away. We do give them other numbers to try but some people don't care and just want to get rid of the animal as quick as possible. People can be heartless.

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“Some people do have genuine reasons but others just don't want their pets to get under their feet at this time of year.

“We want to say to people to make sure they can look after their pets for the whole of their life. It is not acceptable to give animals up just because it is a busy time of year.

“We also want to stress to people not to buy pets as Christmas presents.”

January usually sees an even greater rise in the numbers, with the charity expecting to take in more than 90 cats and dogs a day nationally - a peak matched only in the summer months.

Mark Evans, RSPCA chief veterinary adviser, said the increase could be down to a number of factors, including people going away for Christmas.

He said: “It could be that people don't want to take their dog out for walks in the dark, or they don't want their cat with tummy trouble bothering them when the in-laws come round for Christmas.

“Whatever the reason, it's very sad.”

Have you got a story to tell about an abandoned animal? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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