RSPCA reports 25% rise in abandoned pets
The RSPCA said the number of abandoned pets in England and Wales has risen by 25% from the previous year.
Data provided by the charity shows that in July it responded to 22,908 pets left by their owners.
He said Covid and cost of living fears meant fewer people were considering getting a pet, with the number of rehomed pets down 10% year-on-year.
RSCPA pet welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said it was “really concerning”.
The charity has launched its annual Adoptober Campaignthat encourages people to consider adopting or fostering a rescued animal.
Dr Gaines said: “It’s really concerning that animals are staying in our care longer and fewer are being rehomed year on year.
“Unfortunately, we believe we are really starting to see the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis.
“We are also starting to see more and more animals being entrusted to us because their owners simply could no longer afford to care for them; or, in the most extreme cases, because they were neglected or discontinued due to rising cost of pet care.”
Katie, who lives in the North West of England, recently had to repatriate her two beagles.
She told the BBC it was “really, really awful”.
“Six months of supporting themselves physically, financially and emotionally, and you know that’s on top of having a two-year-old, and on top of having a job and trying to manage your home,” she said.
“It’s too much.”
In June, the RSPCA released the Animal Kindness Index, which found that 68% of pet owners surveyed said the cost of keeping their pet had risen compared to the previous year.
He said 19 per cent were worried about being able to feed their pets.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, the RSPCA responded to 2,830 abandoned animals this year, in July. This represents a 38% increase on the same period in 2021, the largest percentage increase for any region across England and Wales.
The second biggest percentage increase has been seen in the East Midlands, with the charity responding to 2,144 animal abandonments so far this year, an increase of 35%.
It is closely followed by the Southeast, where 2,751 animals were abandoned, up 34%.
Dogs continue to be the most commonly abandoned animal, according to RSPCA data.
With 8,305 abandoned this year, they represent just over a third of the abandoned animals the charity responded to in 2022.
In his own survey last month, dog confidence 43% of respondents said it would be harder for them to give their dogs everything they needed compared to before the widespread cost of living spiked.
In August, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home esteemed that the average cost of keeping a dog in the UK was £2,000 a year.
But the charity said ‘actual costs will vary widely depending on the size, age, type and health of the animal’.
Rob Young, the center’s operations manager in Battersea, said: “With rising food and energy prices, for many UK households, the current environment is difficult.
“Given this, it’s really important that people are fully informed of the costs associated with owning a dog.”