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Kent has highest number of abandoned animals in England outside London according to RSPCA

Kent is one of the worst places in England for animals being abandoned, according to stark figures released today by the RSPCA.

Nearly 1,000 animals have been dumped in the county since the beginning of the year, with an alarming increase in the cruel practice.

Only Greater London has a greater problem, with 2,136 cases.

The raccoon dogs were rescued from a home in Dartford. Picture: Library image
The raccoon dogs were rescued from a home in Dartford. Picture: Library image

But the grisly toll for Kent - at 970 animals - is likely to get worse over the winter months, according to the charity.

And Kent's figure is more than double its neighbouring county of East Sussex, which has seen 456 cases this year.

The RSPCA has been called out to deal with 29,770 reports of abandoned animals so far in England and Wales this year - a rise of a third since 2009.

RSPCA staff officer Dermot Murphy said: "Even in a nation of animal lovers, there are thousands of people out there who don’t care about their pets at all. In fact, some literally treat them like rubbish.

"Worse still, holidays like Christmas can lead to an increase in abandonments as some people choose to get rid of their pets rather than pay for them to be looked after while they are on holiday.

"Money may be spent on holidays and Christmas presents rather than seeking vet attention for ill or newborn animals, so they are dumped.

The pig was abandoned on grazing land
The pig was abandoned on grazing land

"It’s bad enough when we find a box of kittens wrapped in blankets on our doorstep with a note, but now people are deliberately dumping their animals in out of the way places - like bins, skips or on waste ground - and leaving them to an unknown fate."

One of the most appalling cases in the county this year was when a very ill horse was found wrapped in an industrial waste bag in an alleyway behind a housing estate.

RSPCA Inspector Ellen Thomas said: "How someone can dump a live horse in a dark alley knowing that they would be leaving it there to suffer and die is beyond me.

"It was an upsetting scene. I have never seen anything like it."

In January a pig was left abandoned in a Shorncliffe field, before caring locals took pity and built him a shelter.

And in August, raccoon dogs were found locked up in a Dartford flat.

The charity is expecting around 140,000 calls in November and December alone, with around 50,000 animals needing help between now and Christmas.

To help animals like this text RESCUE to 70800 to give £3.

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