It's the statistic no one wanted to see: already there's been a 24 percent increase in reports of abandonment this winter. Serious money worries mean even the most loving owners are struggling to care for their pets. Our survey found 7 in 10 people are concerned about how they'll afford to feed them. Whether intentional or not, the lives of countless animals are at risk.
For many, we're their only hope of rescue. So this Christmas we cannot leave any animal out in the cold. Despite rising fuel and energy costs, we must keep our rescue teams on the road, our centres warm and welcoming, and get more animals to safety. But we need as many people as possible to join the Christmas rescue and donate today.
The Gift was a film created to support the RSPCA's Join the Christmas Rescue campaign, coming at a time when we have seen many pet's being giving up or abandoned as life started going back to normal after the pandemic lock downs etc. The film tells the story of a puppy brought during the lockdowns without much consideration over the commitment and expense a dog represents. When life returns to normal, it quickly becomes a nuisance that the family no longer wants to deal with. The film seeks to illustrate the scale of the problem by showing 'gifts' of all sizes being dumped without any thought, when the harsh reality sets it, we see these are not gifts at all, but all abandoned animals. The RSPCA has sadly seen animals of all sizes abandoned in this way. This film ends, by showing that thankfully the RSPCA (through various frontline rescuers) is there to rescue these poor animals. The puppy in the film is called Peanut, a puppy rescued by the RSPCA during the pandemic, with a similarly sad story. Thankfully in real life she was adopted by a staff member and their family so has a lovely new life thanks to the work of the RSPCA and our generous supporters.
We hope that the film will give pause to think about the situation these animals find themselves in through no fault of their own and move them to support the campaign. Part of the campaign was also to highlight the help that is out there for people struggling financially to try and show there are others ways to deal with the situation other than abandoning your pet.
As usual, the film was made by our talented in-house production team on a very minimal budget, while keeping production values high. We were lucky enough to have the support of the very talented Lady Blackbird, who sang a brilliant version of "What the world needs now is love" a perfect song to reflect the aims of the film.
The film supported a large social media campaign and was used across various platforms attracting great media and celebrity support.