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Stuff that matters

Twelve baby ferrets were abandoned in a cage without water on a hot summer’s day.

The tiny animals were left for dead under a bush in Hayle, Cornwall, after being dumped in a cage-style cat carrier.

The ferrets, who have since been rehomed, were also left without food, CornwallLive reports.

The RSPCA receives around 90,000 calls to its cruelty line every month and investigates 6,000 reports of deliberate animal cruelty, including animal fighting and hunting.

But in the summer, calls rise to 134,000 a month – three every minute – and reports of cruelty soar to nearly 250 per day.

The charity has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign to raise funds to help its frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty and abuse, and to raise awareness about how to prevent animal cruelty.

Overall, the number of reports made to the charity’s cruelty line about animals being inflicted with intentional harm – including beatings, mutilations such as ear cropping, poisonings and even killings – has increased by 7.9 per cent from summer 2020 to summer 2021 with more than 2,300 reports in June and July alone.

Dermot Murphy, chief inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “We are a nation of animal lovers and no one wants to think of an animal being cruelly treated but sadly the reality is that every day animals are victims of deliberate cruelty and thankfully the RSPCA is there to help them.

“There are many factors which could explain why we see a rise in cruelty during the summer months. The longer sunny days could mean people are out and about more and likely to see and report abuse.

“Hot summer days can also lead to more people drinking alcohol in the sun which in turn can be a factor causing violence. Perhaps there is boredom or pressures at home with children being off school which can make existing difficulties magnified.

“And this year, we are also concerned that the recent rise in pet ownership coupled with the cost of living crisis could see people really struggling to care for their pets which may lead them to lash out or could see more animals than ever being abandoned or given up.”

The RSPCA received more than one million calls to its Cruelty Line last year, with an average of nearly three killed animals every day.

Mr Murphy added: “These figures are shocking and deeply upsetting and show why we need your help to save those animals who need us the most now more than ever.

“As a charity, we are bracing to tackle a summer of suffering but we cannot do this without your help.”