Cost of living: More pets being abandoned, dogs home says
There has been a “sharp rise” in the number of dogs being abandoned as the cost-of-living crisis deepens, a rescue centre has said.
Hope Rescue Centre in Rhondda Cynon Taf said it had taken 300 calls in the past three months about pets.
The centre said it was caused by a “perfect storm” of an increase in dog ownership during lockdown alongside the cost-of-living crisis.
In the year after the first lockdown, UK households bought 3.2 million pets.
Rolo, a one-year-old terrier is one of the many dogs at the rescue centre.
He was brought by a dog warden as a stray, with very little known about his background.
The centre said although he was very friendly, he could get overwhelmed in some situations, so needs a gentle approach.
The centre’s owner and founder, Vanessa Wadden, said Rolo was one of many and the situation was the worst she has seen 17 years.
“In the last three months alone we’ve had over 300 calls from people asking for our help,” she said.
“It is very dramatic, it is a perfect storm.
“We are having to turn dogs away and that is the hardest bit, it is heartbreaking.”
Centres across Wales are struggling to cope with demand and although many are full, staff stressed there was still help at hand.
“There are circumstances where we can’t always help, we can’t always take the dog in there and then, but we would urge owners to always pick up the phone,” said Hope Rescue’s Katie Bull.
“We can always offer advice if you are struggling to feed the dog, or struggling with medical costs and we can also put people on the waiting list.”
It is a similar story at Cardiff Dogs Home. With the number of strays, surrendered and unwanted dogs rising on a daily basis, the centre has seen record inquiries.
Manager Maria Bailey said: “The demand has been quite striking for lots of different reasons.
“We are getting about 40 to 50 calls a month. Between April and July this year we have taken in 225 dogs, that is roughly 56 dogs a month at the moment so we are pretty much full all the time.”
Ragner, a two-year-old American bulldog, was signed over because his owner could not look after him any longer.
He is also what is now commonly known as a “lockdown pet”, many of which have been abandoned.
Veterinary charity The PDSA estimates that “depending on which dog you have, their potential lifetime cost could be £30,000”.
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