TO MOST people the idea of throwing a rabbit out a moving car, an act so cruel and callous, would be unthinkable.

As would dumping five kittens inside a telephone box or leaving a dog tied to a tree in the woods.

Sadly, however, this is the ever day reality faced by volunteers at South Bucks RSPCA, whose work costs around £160,000 per year.

Around Christmas time, things tend to get even worse.

The saying 'a dog is life, not just for Christmas' has become a familiar mantra with high numbers of abandonments over the years at this time.

The RSPCA stops rehoming animals from December 17 to the New Year to prevent more festive tales of woe.

Poppy, an nine week old Staffie pup was thought to be one of last Christmas's discarded presents having been found in a box in the woods near Chesham. Luckily, she was found and taken to the RSPCA, which has since found her a loving home.

Spokesman Pat Edgar said: “When she was brought into our care she was thin, needed worming and de-fleeing and then found a fantastic new home. She was probably from a litter that was not wanted over the Christmas period.”

Not so fortunate were a box of kittens found in small shoebox- also in Chesham – just weeks ago.

Two of the quintet, just weeks old, were already dead. Two died, even after emergency care, leaving just one of the litter alive.

South Bucks RSPCA spokesman Pat Edgar said: “The survivor, Liam a little ginger and white kitten decided to fight back despite all the odds. He is now doing extremely well and will soon be ready for re-homing.” The charity said one of the most appalling cases of cruelty in 2012 was Marcus the rabbit, chucked out of a moving vehicle in Loudwater.

Mrs Edgar said: “The worst abandonment in 2012 has to be Marcus, an elderly rabbit who was seen being thrown from a moving car.  He is now living the rest of his days with our rabbit re-homing co-ordinator as he is slightly brain damaged.”

Up until December this year the branch took in 350 animals in total, including 110 cats, 64 dogs and 106 rabbits.

Reiterating the festive message to would be pet owners, she added: “South Bucks RSPCA will stop rehoming cats, dogs, rabbits and small animals until the New Year with the aim of avoiding any of our animals being given as Christmas presents and becoming ‘unwanted’ as soon as the festivities are over and people go back to work “Owning a pet is a great responsibility that takes time and commitment - a pet is for life, not just for Christmas.”

  • To make a donation, however small, please contact Ann Everest on Tel: 07974 224157 email or post a cheque payable to South Bucks RSPCA to The Treasurer, PO Box 850, Amersham, HP6 9GW. If you can spare a few hours to join our loyal team of dedicated volunteers please call Jill Grimwood on 01494 792749 or email More details

Rehoming statistics:

To the end of November South Bucks RSPCA has rehomed:

  • 104 cats /kittens
  • 55 dogs
  • 62 rabbits
  • 15 guinea pigs
  • one gerbil
  • one hamster
  • two rats.

Needing homes: Among the many animals in its care currently needing new homes are 15 cats/kittens including black fluffy kitten Tom now 11 weeks - abandoned together with his brother, Jerry, who came in with his eyes virtually stuck together and was extremely small.