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Number of animals in need on rise

PUBLISHED: 11:48 28 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 July 2010

A cat left in a plastic bag in a hedge, chinchillas dumped in a box on a playing field and oil covered birds.

These are some of the harrowing and growing number of rescues the RSPCA was called out to in the east of England last year.

A cat left in a plastic bag in a hedge, chinchillas dumped in a box on a playing field and oil covered birds.

These are some of the harrowing and growing number of rescues the RSPCA was called out to in the east of England last year.

Statistics released by the RSPCA today show that the number of rescues the animal charity attended in 2007 has gone up by nearly 10 per cent compared to 2006.

The figures show that the number of farm animals rescued rose by 430 per cent to 737 and there was a 20 per cent jump in the number of dogs that needed rescuing.

In total 29,596 animals were rescued - 9.8 per cent higher than 2006 in which 26,596 creatures were helped.

Animal rescues included dumped chinchillas in Newark, a cat dumped in a plastic bag in Market Harborough and a terrier left in a hedgerow in Cambridge.

Wild birds constitute the largest number of rescues with 7,021 and 6,424 cats, 1,648 dogs and 1,174 fish needed rescuing.

The number of animals abandoned by their owners was 1,417 - a rise of 44 per cent.

The RSPCA has released the set of statistics to coincide with the launch today of RSPCA Week, the society's largest annual fund and awareness raising push.

Simon Parker, acting RSPCA superintendent for the east, said: “We work around the clock to rescue thousands of animals every year from a wide range of distressing situations and 2007 was no exception.

“The RSPCA was on hand to help all types of animal whatever the emergency - birds injured by oil spills, cattle suffering from foot and mouth disease, cats in road accidents and dogs simply abandoned by their owners.”

“Sadly we noticed a rise in the number of animals we rescued last year because they were callously abandoned.”

The figures for the east of England cover Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Derbyshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.

For more information on RSPCA week visit www.rspcaweek.org.uk

Anyone who fears an animal is being neglected or has been abandoned can call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

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