An animal welfare charity has released shocking new stats that show abandonments have been spiraling in Cornwall amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

The RSPCA says it is on course to receive 191 reports of animal abandonment this year - marking a 60.4 per cent rise on the number of reports received in the local community in 2020.

Dermot Murphy, who heads the RSPCA frontline rescue teams, said: “The combined effects of the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis has created a perfect storm - and means we expect more animals than ever will need our help this year.

"Abandonment calls to our emergency line are now at a three-year high, as we respond to an increasing number of animals being given up and dumped.

“Behind these shocking statistics are thousands of vulnerable animals. Each one is a valuable life in urgent need of our help. 

“We’re desperately concerned about the coming winter months in Cornwall- abandonments have soared and many rescue centres are full to bursting, so we are facing an unprecedented winter crisis.   “Our rescue teams are set to be busier than ever this Christmas - so we need animal lovers to join the Christmas rescue and donate to help us be there for animals in desperate need as neglect and abandonment soars.”

RSPCA animal rescue officer Betty Burn was called to help a tiny puppy in Falmouth who'd been abandoned in January. 

The six- week-old dachshund was cared for by a vet before he was taken into the care of the RSPCA Cornwall Branch for foster care before he was old enough to be rehomed.

Dermot said: “For nearly 200 years, the RSPCA has been working tirelessly to bring animals to safety and give them the expert treatment and compassion they deserve.

“We’ll continue to do so for as long as we’re needed but we can’t do that without the support of fellow animal lovers.

"Together, we could save more lives. 

“The support of the public helps neglected and abandoned animals in so many ways - from buying soft, warm bedding and nourishing food for an animal who’s desperately cold and hungry, to funding vital vet care for an animal who’s suffering and in pain.”

The RSPCA is asking supporters to join the Christmas rescue by donating to help rescue teams reach the thousands of animals who desperately need them. People can visit