The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) and other charities are at “breaking” point due to the rise in the the numbers of dogs, cats and horses being abandoned in Ireland.

The ISPCA reported a 160 percent increase in the number of horses taken into care so far in 2013 along with a 57 percent increase in dogs and a 156 percent increase in cats.

Director of Leinster Animal Rescue, Robert Kenny said the dumping of animals is "non-stop." He added that "some dogs have even been left on train lines."

"We are an appalling country when it comes to cruelty and I think we are one of the worst in Western Europe," he said.

The animal charity told the Irish Independent that during the first seven months of 2013 they receive almost as many calls on cruelty towards horses as they had during the whole year of 2012.

They have now called on the government’s Department of Agriculture to enforce equine
identification and registration of premises regulations. They also call on local authorities to take responsibility to horse welfare where ownership of the animals in urban areas is unclear.

Barbara Bent, the ISPCA chairperson said, “We predict a large number of equines will suffer this winter, many dumped and left to starve and sadly we won't be able to help them all.”

Nina, a young trotter, was given as an example. She was found unable to walk, in County Laois. She had been abandoned and had suffered multiple wounds to her legs, in-grown head collar marks, and bite wounds.

The main reason for the mass abandonment of these animals is said to be the recession.

In Monaghan the ISPCA is looking after two puppies that were found in a ditch.

Sinead McKenna, volunteer and treasurer with Monaghan ISPCA told the Independent, “Our volunteer thought she could see a little head pop up over the top of the ditch and went back to check. She found two, but in all likelihood there was probably more abandoned.”