The RSPCA is appealing to people to come forward with information after two puppies - one of whom was dead and the other barely alive - were found abandoned at Maurice Lea Memorial Park in Swadlincote. A local veterinary practice alerted the animal welfare charity after a member of the public had taken the tiny puppies - thought to be fox terriers - into them at about 4.20pm on Wednesday November 30, after finding them abandoned in the park in a black plastic bag.


One of the two-week-old puppies - which the man had wrapped in a towel - had already been dead for some time; the other pup was freezing cold and barely alive, and sadly had to be put to sleep by vets to prevent further suffering. The incident comes as the RSPCA has revealed a shocking 25 per cent rise in the number of pet abandonments dealt with by its frontline officers this year, with the rising cost of living thought to be a driving factor behind the increase. 

RSPCA inspector Pamela Bird, who is investigating the incident, said: “It’s absolutely shocking that someone has abandoned tiny, vulnerable puppies in this way and just walked away. I’d appeal to anyone who’s visited Maurice Lea Memorial Park over the last few days and seen suspicious behaviour, or perhaps recognises these puppies or knows a dog who has recently given birth to a litter of similar puppies, to get in touch with us on 0300 123 8018.

“Maybe this was an unplanned litter and the owners panicked when faced with the prospect of feeding and caring for two tiny lives. However, it’s cruel and irresponsible to abandon any animal in these circumstances when there is help and support available

“Sadly calls to the RSPCA about abandonment and neglect have risen as the cost of living crisis bites, and with more people struggling, we sadly expect to be dealing with more incidents like this over the coming months. This is why the RSPCA is providing dedicated cost of living support for worried pet owners, with a recently-opened telephone helpline on 0300 123 0650 and an online hub, which has lots of practical tips and advice, including details of pet food bank schemes.”

The charity has also launched its Winter appeal to help raise funds so its frontline officers can keep rescuing and rehoming pets at a time when its national and branch-run centres are under enormous strain. To Join the Winter Rescue and help our rescue teams be there for the animals in need, visit th website.