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Bull breed left at rescue centre gates as abandonment cases rise across Wales

06 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Bully abandoned at RSPCA Newport Animal Centre

Stephen Price

A bull breed was left tied to the gates of an animal rescue centre amid a steep rise in animal abandonment – with cases expected to rise as new laws are implemented later this month.

The dog, thought to be one or two years old, was abandoned outside RSPCA Newport Animal Centre in the early hours of yesterday morning (Tuesday 5 December).

The charity is appealing for information after the person who left the dog was caught on the centre’s CCTV – with the charity issuing an appeal for information.

Growing number of incidents

This case is yet another in the growing number of abandonment incidents across Wales – with the RSPCA fearing many more to come this winter – with the ban on XL Bullys already having a visible impact.

The ban on the the breed in England and Wales will come into force on 31 December, with owners having to keep their dogs muzzled and on a lead in public, as well as having to apply for a certificate of exemption from the UK Government’s website. Owners can also choose to have their dog euthanised and apply for compensation.

Animal rescue centres are reporting a steep increase in these breeds in particular coming into their care – and often finding it difficult to find a forever home due to negative associations with the breed and confusion over the new laws.

Since April 2016, new laws came into effect making it compulsory for owners to ensure their dogs are microchipped, with owners not complying facing a potential fine of up to £500. But this particular dog, like many others at the rescue centre, is not microchipped.

Up to the end of October, the animal welfare charity had received 17,838 reports of abandoned animals across England and Wales – which, if such trends continue, would equate to 21,417 reports over 2023. This compares with 16,118 reports during the whole of 2020, meaning the RSPCA is on course to see an eye-watering 32.9 percent rise in abandonment calls this year. It’s higher too than the number of reports received in 2021 (17,179) and 2022 (19,645).

In Wales specifically – abandonment reports have risen 61% – from 997 in 2020 to a projected 1,610 this year. This compared to 1,192 reports in 2021 and 1,419 in 2022.

Seek help

Discussing the latest abandonment case, RSPCA inspector Sophie Daniels said: “We are very saddened that this poor dog has been dumped at one of our centre’s gates. He has a good temperament and is friendly but wasn’t microchipped. He must have been very frightened and confused being left there in the cold.”

“We know times are tough at the moment and the cost of living is really affecting families who are struggling with their pets and the costs that come with them.”

“But we ask for people not to abandon and dump these animals – but to seek help from charities and organisations out there.”

“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 we’d urge people to do their research and to consider rescuing instead of buying.”

Sophie added: “We’re desperately concerned about the coming winter months in Wales. Abandonments have soared and many rescue centres are full to bursting, so we are facing an unprecedented winter crisis.” 

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