RSPCA issues warning over animal neglect during winter

A dog was found dumped in Newport in December 2015 Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Unwanted and unloved: A dog found dumped in Newport last winter

RSPCA Cymru is bracing itself for thousands of phone calls about animals suffering from neglect over the winter.

It comes after the charity received nearly 3,000 calls between October 2015 and January 2016, with more than half relating to dogs.

It said while people see this time of year as a celebration, "a huge number" of calls are made to report neglect.

A "Love Animals, Hate Cruelty" campaign has been launched to make people aware of pets' needs.

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Media captionRSPCA Cymru's Chris O'Brien said neglect is the number one issue for the charity during the winter

"It's a sad fact that every day at work throughout the year can be tough for our inspectors and animal welfare and collection officers, but winter really does come with its own challenges and issues," said RSPCA Cymru Supt Martyn Hubbard.

"In fact, we expect to take in somewhere in the region of 19,000 animals this winter alone across England and Wales.

"The fact that last winter in Wales we received nearly 3,000 calls from people reporting neglect to animals is shocking, especially when you add that to all the other calls we receive at the same time about other welfare issues. It really hits home just what we are up against.

"Issues such as animals not being provided with a suitable environment to shelter from the harsh weather and not being given enough food and water to keep them healthy despite the cold and damp are common complaints made to us."

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