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Four kittens and hamster abandoned in Newport

RSPCA has a new advice portal on the cost of living to help those in need

Newport Hamster Victoria

Four kittens and a hamster have been left abandoned outside RSPCA Newport Animal Centre.

Credit: RSPCA Cymru

The 14-week-old kittens were sadly dumped at the Hartridge Road centre on 17 September in a large cat carrier.

The hamster – now named Victoria – was abandoned on 2 September and was found in her own exercise ball which had been taped up and left in the street.

Four ferrets were also found in a bag on 23 September at a lane at Hatherleigh in Newport.

These heartbreaking incidents sadly are happening more and more as the cost of living crisis continues.

Centre manager Nikki Tutton said they are working at full capacity with prioritising animals that come in through the inspectorate.

“We are on a daily basis getting calls from people asking for us to take on their pets, but unfortunately this is something that we are unable to do,” she said.

“We explain that we have no space and the animals that come into our care are those from the inspectorate. We refer them to other local charities and rescue centres, but sometimes we still do get abandonments at the centre.

“We appreciate that the cost of living crisis is just really taking hold and is causing pet owners to struggle – but just dumping them is not the answer.”

In Wales there were 2,509 abandoned animals reported to the RSPCA in 2021. This included 279 alone in Rhondda Cynon Taff, 191 in Caerphilly and 190 in Swansea.

This year these figures have risen by 23% in Wales with 1,554 abandoned animal reports made to the charity in the country from January – July 2022.

RSPCA chief inspector Elaine Spence said: “With the increase in pet ownership and the cost of living crisis putting a strain on people’s finances, we do fear we will see more animals coming into our care at a time when rehoming has slowed.

“A misunderstanding about the true cost of pet ownership is one of the main reasons why we believe that animals end up being abandoned and anyone considering taking on a pet is urged to do their research first and to consider rescuing instead of buying.

“For those who find themselves struggling, there are many reputable animal welfare charities who can offer help and advice and we encourage anybody in a difficult situation to seek support. Information is also available on the RSPCA’s website.”

RSPCA branches across Wales are also working with food banks in a bid to help those struggling to afford pet food.

The Wales Pet Food Bank involves securing dog and cat food donations from suppliers and then distributing these via RSPCA branches to food banks and organisations across Wales. Wyth Sir Branch’s (the newly merged Gwent Brecknock Branch and Glamorgan North & East) has been working with food banks in the area to provide pet food for those struggling.

Victoria, the abandoned hamster, is now available for rehoming. She is looking for a home where her owners can give her lots of attention and love and she would like a large pen with lots of enrichment and activities. She enjoys being handled and will make a great pet.  The four kittens are currently in foster care and will likely be available for rehoming in the near future.

This month is Adoptober, the RSPCA’s rehoming drive promoting adoption and encouraging people to adopt and not shop. Sadly it comes at a time when the charity is braced for an animal rescue crisis as more pets come into its care while less people are considering taking on a new pet due to the rocketing cost of living.

New figures released by the RSPCA this month reveal that the charity’s centres and branches across England & Wales rehomed almost 27,000 animals last year (2021), 8% less than the previous year.

At the same time, more animals arrived in the charity’s care and the average length of stay increased, resulting in long waiting lists for spaces in rehoming centres.

The charity is urging people who can commit to the lifelong responsibility of a pet to consider rescuing instead of buying, and is also asking the public to help them rescue more animals by donating online.