The number of animals dumped in Sussex has been revealed by the RSPCA.
It is is warning of a summer ‘abandonment crisis’ with an 85 per cent increase in the number of reports about dumped animals.
Pets are often dumped in boxes, thrown in bins or left on the side of roads.
A spokesman said: “Throughout June, July and August last year, the RSPCA received 23,673 calls about dumped animals which equates to one call every six minutes.
“This is an increase of at least 85 per cent on the number of animals reported abandoned during the colder months.”
During summer 2013, East Sussex saw 245 pets dumped and 180 in West Sussex.
Puppy Mia who was found in July 2018 during one of the hottest weeks on record.
The tiny eight-week-old pup was found by a member of the public who contacted the RSPCA. She now has a permanent home.
Dermot Murphy, RSPCA chief inspectorate officer, said: “Sadly, we see a dramatic increase in the number of animals abandoned in the summer. From unwanted newborn kittens and puppies dumped in boxes and bins, exotic pets cast aside or horses abandoned in someone else’s field, dumped like rubbish
“There is never an excuse to abandon an animal in this way and we would urge anyone who is struggling to cope with their pets to contact us or other charities for help.
“Our pets are sentient beings and great companions who rely on us for their health and happiness so dumping them like an old mobile phone or a piece of rubbish should never be the answer.
“The peak in animals being abandoned in the summer puts a massive strain on our inspectors, animal centres and branches who are left picking up the pieces when an animal is dumped.”
The RSPCA said it was not clear why the figures rise so dramatically in the warmer months but it may be that abandoned animals are more visible when people are out and about, that people feel less guilty about leaving them alone when the weather is warmer or even that some people dump their pets when they go away on holiday and have nowhere for them to go.