The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cockerel was abandoned in a box by the side of the River Trent in Nottingham.
The bird, which was dumped in an open box, was found by a member of the public by the side of the river in Victoria Embankment at 7.30am on Saturday 27 June.
RSPCA inspector Helen Mead said: “In the box with the bird was a blue plastic bag which contained some seeds and raw red meat in it. Thankfully this handsome bird is well. It’s so sad that he was abandoned like this in such a defenceless position.
“He was found by chance after a woman on a bicycle riding by heard the bird and stopped to take a look. Another woman, who also stopped to help, stayed with him until I arrived.
“We are keen to find out more information about the cockerel and how he came to be dumped like this. Anyone who has any information can contact us in confidence on 0300 123 8018.”
The cockerel has now been placed in a specialist caring facility and, if no owner comes forward, will be rehomed.
The RSPCA is bracing itself for a surge in abandoned animals and fears the fallout from the Covid crisis could see more owners struggling to keep their pets.
Typically, the charity sees abandonment peak in the summer months. Between June and August 2019, 16,519 animals were reported abandoned to the RSPCA which accounts for 30% of all animals reported abandoned that year.
During the summer months last year the charity received 278 reports about dumped animals in Nottinghamshire.
The RSPCA is braced for an even bigger impact this summer following the easing of lockdown and the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and has launched an emergency appeal to continue its vital rescue work.
Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA’s animal rescue teams, said: “During lockdown we’ve seen pets become a source of comfort and support for people and it appears many people have taken on new animals. Fortunately during this time we’ve dealt with fewer abandoned pets however we are worried that as lockdown eases, people return to work, go on holidays or struggle financially we will be facing a massive surge of animal abandonments.
“Sadly summer tends to bring with it a surge in abandoned animals. We don’t know why but it may be a combination of the warmer weather making people feel less guilty about dumping a pet to fend for themselves and people doing away on holiday abandoning pets instead of arranging care for them.”
To help the RSPCA continue to rescue animals that have been abandoned this summer, please visit www.rspca.org.uk/abandonments.