Britain is supposed to be a nation of animal lovers but you wouldn't think so if you looked at some of the centres for dumped pets.

Sussex is one of the worst places in the UK for abandoned animals, with thousands of them being left every year.

The discarding of animals is at its worst at this time of year as many people decide the pets they bought at Christmas were not exactly what they wanted.

These people are cruel and callous to cats, dogs and other pets, who settle into new homes before being dumped, sometimes at welfare centres but often in the street.

They simply do not think, before getting a pet, that looking after them takes time, costs money and often needs a lot of patience.

The Government has tightened up considerably on the sale of animals at pet shops over the years but there is a limit to what legislation can achieve.

Animal charities and real pet lovers need to drum home the message that when people buy pets, it should be for life and they should not be discarded simply on a whim.

Meanwhile, those who have decided they really do want a pet could go nowhere better than to one of the rescue organisations.