Don't leave your pets home alone

The RSPCA is urging people not to leave their pets at home alone while they head off on their holiday break.

With the summer holidays underway, the animal welfare group has reported an increase in calls to houses where pets have been left to stay alone with nothing but piles of food for company.

This, the group says, falls far short of the legal responsibility pet owners have under the Animal Welfare Act to ensure their pet's needs are met.

RSPCA superintendent Richard Seddon said: "Being left home alone with a pile of food does not mean their needs are being taken care of. Owners don't want to get a call while they are lying on the beach to tell them to come back home to take care of their pet so we are saying – make proper arrangements for someone to care for your pet or put them in pet boarding."

The RSPCA said the summer months typically see a rise in abandoned animals. In the nine weeks since the start of May, it has taken in more than one and a half thousand abandoned animals and is receiving a call asking for help on average every 30 seconds.

Supt Seddon said: "To leave a much loved family pet for days at a time with just a pile of food that may go off especially in this hot weather may endanger the animal's life and is simply not common sense."

The public is urged to be vigilant and alert the RSPCA if they become aware of an abandoned animal.