January 20, 2012 1.50 pm This story is over 148 months old

Fewer gift pets abandoned in Lincoln

Gift pets: Around 15 cats, dogs and rabbits were abandoned after Christmas, the Lincoln RSPCA branch said.

Mr Pickles is one of the rabbits rescued by RSPCA Lincoln

Fewer animals received as presents were abandoned following the Christmas period in the Lincoln area, the local RSPCA branch have said.

Charlotte Childs, Lincoln’s RSPCA branch administrator, explained that overall fewer pets were abandoned so far this year, compared to previous years.

“It’s not as many as you think. Between the shop and the cat hostel, we’ve had in total about 15 animals brought in,” she said.

Cats and dogs tend to be the main abandoned pets, but Lincoln RSPCA noticed an increase in abandoned pet rabbits.

“It’s mostly cats and dogs, but we get an awful lot of rabbits. People think that it’s safe to release a rabbit into the wild, but pet rabbits have very little in common with wild rabbits — they have as much in common as dogs and wolves.”

However, late January could be too early to tell whether more of the gift pets will be kept on by their owners, Childs explained.

“It’s usually after Christmas, but it’s a few months later, around summer time, in which the number is higher. It’s usually after people have had them for a while and have decided they don’t want them anymore.

“When they usually come in they tend to have skin mites and bad dental problems. This time we had to put one down because of their severe health problems and sadly one died of natural causes.”

To help prevent more animals being abandoned, Charlotte Childs suggests people should start small and understand the kind of responsibility they are taking on.

“If a child has been badgering their parents for a pet, they should always start out small and they should realise it’s their responsibility as well to look after the pet.”

If you are interested in rescuing a pet, get in touch via the RSPCA Lincoln Facebook page or website for a viewing.