THE RSPCA says it receives a call about a neglected animal every five minutes, shocking new figures reveal.

The statistics highlight how busy the charity’s rescuers are on the frontline, with calls from Wales contributing to a winter crisis.

New figures from the animal welfare charity show that, up to the end of October, its dedicated emergency line had received 43,360 reports of neglect.

In Wales alone, the charity received 2,904 reports about neglected animals in the first 10 months of this year - with the most coming from Cardiff (268), Swansea (235), Rhondda Cynon Taf (225), Carmarthenshire (218) and Neath Port Talbot (189).

The distressing new statistics - which include statistics for each county - have been released as part of the charity's Join the Christmas Rescue campaign - aiming to support its frontline staff ahead of what could be a "bleak” winter season for pets and other animals.

In the first ten months of the year, the line had been open for 3,474 hours - meaning it averages 12.5 calls about neglect every single hour, or one report every 288 seconds.

The number of reports the charity had about neglect in October (4,387) - was also higher than the number in that month of 2022 (3,818), 2021 (4,186) and 2020 (3,931) - with incidents shooting up an eye-watering 14.9% compared to last year.


The data follows previous statistics suggesting calls about abandoned animals are at a three-year high, with the charity expecting to receive more than 21,400 calls about unwanted and dumped animals this year.

Here are how many cases were reported up to October 2023 in north Wales' counties;

  • Anglesey - 54
  • Conwy - 111
  • Denbighshire - 122
  • Flintshire - 140
  • Gwynedd - 134
  • Wrexham - 151

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA inspectorate commissioner, said: “Thousands of animals' lives are hanging in the balance this Christmas with animal neglect reports a real cause for concern - including in Wales.

“Across the board, our emergency line is getting a call about a neglected animal every 288 seconds. Combine those levels of neglect with rising abandonments, the cost of living crisis, and the cold weather this winter, and we fear this could be a very bleak time for animals.

“But there is hope. Our frontline officers work tirelessly to bring neglected animals to safety - and it's the kind-hearted public who power these rescue efforts.

“This winter, our rescue teams are set to be very busy trying to help and reach so many neglected animals - which is why we need animal lovers to join the Christmas rescue now more than ever, and donate to help us be there for neglected animals in their time of need."

One of the many animals rescued by the RSPCA currently looking for a home is Great Uncle Bulgaria - who has been at RSPCA Bryn-y-Maen animal centre in Colwyn Bay since March.


Great Uncle Bulgaria came into RSPCA care after living as a stray. The centre suspects that he did experience cat fights during this period, having caused quite a large wound on his face which unfortunately has left some scarring on the side of his face/down a part of his neck.

This is now completely healed and does not require any medication.

The five-year-old has been building his confidence at the centre after finding the cattery environment stressful at first. But with a gentle approach with staff and volunteers, he has shown he can be a real softie.

Please contact the centre if you can give Great Uncle Bulgaria the perfect home he deserves.