Cost of Living crisis: Yorkshire Charity warns rising cost of living leading to national animal welfare crisis

A Yorkshire charity fears a national animal welfare crisis is brewing as it says the number of pets being abandoned is nationally increasing.

South Yorkshire-based Rain Rescue, said this worrying trend is due to a rise in pet ownership rates colliding with cost-of-living pressures.

Recent research by the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) shows demand for rescue dogs has declined in the past year while the number of dogs being abandoned is higher in 2022 than 2021 and 2020.

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Cats are also being abandoned at an alarming rate. Abandoned cats continue to breed from 4 months of age and usually, full of disease and illness, die a painful and pitiful death on the street.

Charity Rain Rescueis seeing an increase in animals coming into its care with an increase of over 50 per cent in vet fees costs.

Many centres are already full with a waiting list of over 100 cats and 42 dogs and others are close to capacity.

Rehoming is slowing down with a 35 per cent reduction in donations.

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Charity fears of a national animal welfare crisis as cost of living crisis bitesCharity fears of a national animal welfare crisis as cost of living crisis bites
Charity fears of a national animal welfare crisis as cost of living crisis bites
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70 per cent of rescues centres surveyed by ADCH, report an influx of dogs with behavioural issues.

This is in line with studies indicating that inexperienced dog owners are giving up dogs they acquired during the lockdown and are now unable to care for, due to a variety of factors.

Halita Obineche, Executive Director of ADCH, said: “There was a huge surge in people getting pets in lockdown and we are dealing with the fallout.

“Inexperienced owners unable to manage pets with behavioural issues caused by poor training and a lack of socialisation; workers returning to the office; and now the rising cost of living, all combining to create a national animal welfare crisis.”

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She said rescue centres nationally emerged from lockdown struggling with a lack of funds and a lack of experienced staff.

Ms Obineche added: "They are overburdened – both in terms of space and the emotional toll of dealing with an epidemic of dog abandonment.”