The RSPCA is urging struggling owners in the south-east not to dump pets after a spike in calls.

The animal charity received more than 10,000 calls about abandoned animals in just three months last summer, with London topping the list of counties reporting the most complaints.

In just those three months Essex also experienced a worrying number of complaints with 312 made to the charity, and Kent a close third with 283 calls made reporting abandoned animals.

The number of abandoned animals taken in by the charity also peaked in June last year with 850 dumped pets rescued.

Those calls involved anything from cats left on the street tied up in bags, horses abandoned at the side of the road close to death, to dogs dumped out with the rubbish like Penny the dog (pictured).

The RSPCA’s superintendent for the south-east region, Paul Stilgoe, said: “London is the busiest places for reports of abandoned animals during the summer as we had 892 calls last year in just those three summer months alone.

“It’s the highest number nationally and shows just how serious this crisis can be.

“We see every type of animal abandoned from dogs, cats and small animals to horses, farm animals and even exotic animals like pythons just left out on the street in their vivariums.

“Every animal has specific welfare needs and it’s so dangerous to leave any animal abandoned and having to fend for itself.”

“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. Or maybe they feel less guilty, leaving a pet to fend for itself in the warmer weather, compared to the cold winter months.

Penny, was found abandoned on a pile of fly-tipped rubbish in June last year in East Tilbury, collapsed and starving with barely the strength to lift her head.

She had been cruelly left for dead in a remote layby where chances of her being found were very slim. Luckily for Penny, by chance, she was found by two men whose car had broken down and spotted her amongst the rubbish. They called the RSPCA for help and after being rushed to a vet, Penny was given urgent treatment - just in time to save her life.

The people responsible for dumping her and leaving her for dead when she was was so weak and in need of urgent vet care were never traced.

Penny made a good recovery and is now in a new home with loving owners where she is getting the care and attention she deserves..

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