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Last Updated: Monday January 10 2011 08:03 GMT

RSPCA have busiest December ever for animal rescues

Hayley with a puppy

Busiest December ever for RSPCA

The RSPCA animal charity says it is having to look after more abandoned pets and wildlife than ever before.

The charity says December is the busiest month it has ever dealt with, because of the freezing weather and Christmas.

Rescue centres took in hundreds of unwanted pets, as well as wildlife that needed to be saved from the snow.

On Christmas Eve, the RSPCA received one call every minute from someone who was worried about an animal.

kitten
This kitten was found in the snow on 16 December near Middlesbrough

Between 23 and 27 December, RSPCA inspectors investigated 329 complaints about abandoned animals.

Inspector Tony Woodley said: "These animals are simply cast aside with little thought for their health and wellbeing. There's no excuse for such callous and heartless behaviour."