The charity the Dogs Trust has reported a huge rise in the number of people trying to rehome their pets.
The RSPCA have also seen that animal shelters and rehoming organisations have also seen a massive rise in animal rehoming saying that they are ‘drowning’ in animals as the cost of living and energy crisis continues to hit hard.
According to figures given by the Dogs Trust the number of pet owners attempting to rehome their dogs had risen hugely last year and continues to do so. Many shelters are now experiencing long waiting lists. Also seen is an increase in setting up pet food banks to help prevent people from having to re-home their pets.
Between 1 January 2022 and 31 October 2022 the Dogs Trust received 42,000 inquiries from dog owners about rehoming which is a rise of almost 50% on the same period in 2021. Sadly these figures show no sign of decreasing.
Amanda Sands, centre manager at Dogs Trust Leeds, said she had never seen such high demand in three decades of working at the shelter.
There’s people bringing in their dogs that at one time would’ve said: ‘I will never give my dog up.’ And they meant it,” she said. “And now they’re faced with the situation where they have no choice. To have to say goodbye to your friend, it’s unbearable. It’s unthinkable.”
The Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH), in conjunction with ITV’s Tonight programme, surveyed more than 60 animal shelters across the country about how they were responding to the cost of living crisis.
The figures showed 92% of shelters were seeing more people wanting to hand over a dog compared with pre-pandemic levels, and 88% were seeing more people wanting to hand over cats.
More than half were planning on opening pet food banks to respond to the crisis, and 30% were thinking about providing low-cost or free veterinary care.
Sadly these numbers are increasing as people can no longer afford to buy food for their pets. They are also finding it near impossible to pay for any vet bills that may occur.
The RSPCA also reported in 2022 a 24% increase in pets being rehomed as shelters report that they can’t keep up with rehoming requests.
Also back in 2022 75 families were using a food bank at the Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Grimsby every week.
Mark had been using the food bank for several months to help pay for specialist dog food for his staffordshire bull terrier Roxy. This has helped him save £60 a month on food. “She’s part of the family. We’d sooner go without ourselves then give Roxy up,” he told the Tonight programme.
Meanwhile a YouGov and Dogs Trust poll that was made in conjunction with the Tonight programme found that 48% of dog owners were saying they now are now finding it more difficult to provide their pets everything that they need because of the cost of living crisis.
Understandably vet bills topped the list of concerns which was followed by the rising cost of dog food and pet insurance costs.
Roll forward to 2023 I can only imagine that these figures are rising. It’s difficult to find a foodbank that provides dog and cat food although there are some that do.
No one wants to rehome their pets, it’s a decision that is usually made when they’ve exhausted all other means of providing the essentials for their pets.
As the cost of living and energy cost crisis continues there’s no doubt that the most vulnerable will undoubtedly pay the highest price.
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