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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 06:01 GMT 07:01 UK
Pet reject rescues by RSPCA rise
Cats were the most unwanted pet in Wales
The number of animals rescued by the RSPCA in Wales because their owners did not want them went up by almost 50% in 2006, it has been revealed.

In figures released by RSPCA Wales cats were, for the second year running, the most unwanted pets with more than 2000 rescued last year.

The society also said animals in road accidents increased and most were rescued because of sickness and injury.

John Hancock from RSPCA Wales said the figures were "staggering".

In all, RSPCA rescued nearly 8,500 domestic, wild and farm animals from dangerous and distressing situations last year.

The number of animals no longer wanted by their owners rose to 784 in 2006 compared to 524 in 2005.

The figure for dogs increased from 555 rescues in 2005 to 623 in 2006.

The number of exotic pets, like reptiles, saved almost halved while the fish figures went down from 32 rescues in 2005 to one rescue in 2006.

The figures also showed that more cats were rescued from road traffic accidents and being stuck up trees than any other domestic or wild animal.

Numbers of animals rescued in Wales in 2005 and 2006
Pet bird: 266 / 190
Cat: 2344 / 2047
Dog: 555 / 623
Equine: 43 / 76
Exotic: 210 / 110
Farm animal: 145 / 177
Small furry: 438 / 545
Wild bird: 2892 / 3001

Mr Hancock said the latest figures were particularly striking because of the large numbers of animals rescued due to their owners no longer wanting them.

He urged people to consider the responsibility of taking on an animal before doing so.

"With the new Animal Welfare Act now in force, which means owners are legally obliged to find out about their pet's particular needs and care for it properly, we really hope more people will consider the full responsibility they are taking on before getting an animal," he said.

"Hopefully this will mean the RSPCA rescuing fewer unwanted animals."

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