ALMOST 9,000 animals were abandoned in the south last year, new figures released by the RSPCA reveal.
The charity is urging people to think before they act after the number of calls they received about abandoned animals across the UK rose for the fifth year running.
Last year it took 28,162 abandonment calls, compared to 27,755 in 2010. Across the south there were 8,939 during 2011, with a further 106 in the first five days of 2012.
But across the south this is down on the 137 calls the RSPCA received in the first five days of 2011.
Inspector Tony Woodley said: ‘Although it is tempting to blame the economic situation, we have no real idea of why the number of abandonments is increasing overall, but it is so frustrating to think that the messages about caring for animals just aren’t getting through to some people.’