The third incident in 10 days of unwanted animals being dumped at an animal rescue centre near Ringmer has prompted the chief executive to speak out.
On Saturday night a cage containing 12 chickens and a cockrel were left at the gates of Raystede during the night.
This was just days after a rabbit and two cats were left at the centre.
The centre already has many cockerels and they have to kept separate because they fight.
This means the centre has to put some of the birds down.
Nigel Mason, Raystede’s Chief Executive, said: “Yet again Raystede has born the brunt of irresponsible animal owners who decided to leave 12 chickens and a cockerel at our gates during the night.
“It really is not good enough to say that in some way these people did the right thing by leaving their animals at our gate.
“This should be seen for what it is – a criminal act.
“The chickens were packed so tightly into a small cage that there would almost certainly have been injury or death if they had not been found by someone visiting at about 9.30pm on Saturday night.
“No thought has been given about how we will cope in terms of space or cost at a time when we are struggling to cope with demand on our services.
“These people are simply cowards who have decided to dump their animals along with their responsibilities.
“It is sadly the case that we already have too many cockerels on site that have to be kept separately due to their natural inclination to fight.
“It is really unfair on my staff to have to make the horrible decision to euthanase cockerels when we cannot find enough homes and no longer have the space or resources to care for them.”
It costs £5,000 per day to run Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare.
It is a caring and experienced animal wellbeing charity that helps animals have better, happier lives and shows people the best ways to look after them.
Operating for almost 60 years, everything they do is focused on helping animals enjoy the best possible life.
They are committed to helping people and animals enhance each other’s lives through care, compassion and respect.
To do this, they rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals and provide life-long sanctuary for those with nowhere else to go.
All visitors are welcome to Raystede’s 45 acre site near Ringmer, which includes a cafe, gift shop and walks around the lakes.
There are also educational activities to teach children about animal welfare.
Find out more at www.raystede.org