The number of abandoned animals in Suffolk is increasing due to the cost-of-living crisis - with more than 350 pets being left by their owners last year.

The RSPCA has revealed that about 100 animals were abandoned in the UK every day in 2021 and the figures are again on the rise this year.

A total of 38,087 abandonment reports were made to the charity’s cruelty line last year, which equates to four dumped animals every hour.

In Suffolk there were 368 abandoned animals reported to the RSPCA in 2021, with 234 reports made in the county already this year.

The number of animals being dumped has seen a 17% increase from 2020 to 2021 and a 24% increase in 2022.

The charity fears that a huge rise in pet ownership during the pandemic coupled with the cost-of-living crisis is putting a strain on people’s finances, and fears even more animals will be given up this year.

The animal welfare charity has released the stark figures as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty summer campaign, which aims to raise funds to keep its rescue teams on the frontline, saving animals in desperate need of help and raise awareness to stop animal cruelty.

Dermot Murphy, the chief inspectorate officer at the RSPCA, said: “The idea of putting your cat in a cat carrier and taking them to a secluded spot in the woods before walking away, or chucking your dog out of the car and driving off leaving them desperately running behind the vehicle, is absolutely unthinkable and heartbreaking to most pet owners - but sadly we are seeing animals callously abandoned like this every single day.

“We understand that sometimes the unexpected can happen - the pandemic and cost of living crisis proved that - but there is never an excuse to abandon an animal.

“There are always other options for anyone who has fallen on hard times and can no longer afford to keep their pet.”

A recent report released by the RSPCA in partnership with the Scottish SPCA also showed that the cost-of-living crisis is the most urgent threat to pet welfare in the UK.

Almost 20% of pet owners are worried about how they will afford to feed their pets.