The RSPCA is looking to find a home for two cockerels named Homer and Simpson after they were cruelly abandoned in a box at the Richborough recycling centre.
Staff at the centre found the pair inside a cardboard box at the end of December. They contacted the RSPCA and inspector Kirsten Ormerod attended to rescue them.
She said: These poor cockerels had literally been dumped like rubbish at the recycling centre so they were very lucky that someone spotted them and contacted us for help. I then took them to RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre in Surrey where they’ve been getting some TLC ever since.”
Kirsten investigated to try and find out who had abandoned the cockerels but unfortunately no information ever came to light.
Sadly, the RSPCA saw an 8% rise in chicken abandonments from 2020 to 2021. Since 2020, there have been more than 5,000 chickens reported as abandoned or neglected.
Kate Norman, poultry expert at the charity, said: “Keeping chickens has become increasingly popular in recent years but it’s incredibly sad to see so many of them being abandoned and neglected. We are concerned that we could see an increase in the number of dumped chickens due to the cost of living crisis and concerns over bird flu.
“We would urge anyone who is struggling to care for their pets to please reach out for help from friends or family, or charities. Please never abandon any animal.”
Following their ordeal, the black and tan pair – nicknamed after one of the world’s most famous cartoon characters – are now looking for their forever homes.
Elizabeth Wood, deputy manager at RSPCA Millbrook in Chobham, said: “Homer and Simpson are two lovely boys who enjoy cuddles and strokes. Homer is a bit more confident, but Simpson just needs a little bit of time and he soon warms up to you.
“It’s really sad to see more chickens abandoned, which has proven a big issue for the RSPCA in recent years. Homer and Simpson’s story is a reminder – doh-n’t abandon chickens. If you are struggling financially, look for resources like our new Cost of Living hub for help.
“We’re not sure these two will end up in Springfield – but they do need a new home. They get on very well together at the moment but they would like a home where they can live with other hens and this does mean that they will need to be rehomed separately, otherwise they will end up competing for the attention of the females!
“They will need to live in a large, secure chicken coop and have a secure run to explore too. They love to scratch around in mud and grass. While they won’t eat your shorts, they love live mealworms as well as some apple.”
If you think you can give Homer or Simpson a loving home, please contact RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org