Rising living costs are causing record numbers of pet owners to abandon their dogs, according to a charity.
BBC News reports that Hope Rescue in Llanharan, Rhondda Cynon Taf, said the first four months of this year have been the busiest in its 16-year history.
Sara Rosser, the charity’s head of welfare and adoption, said the centre had taken nearly 300 dogs, nearly double pre-pandemic levels. She said many owners were in a “desperate situation”.
Ms Rosser told Radio Wales Breakfast: “We’re still seeing quite a high number of dogs that appear to be deliberately abandoned that are coming in to us as strays. “We’re then finding out that actually it was the owners who brought them in to us so they were in a desperate situation, felt the only option was to abandon their dogs.”
She added the charity received 20 to 30 calls a day, with many owners saying their financial circumstances have changed.
“We’re seeing quite a few people who are struggling for money, they can’t afford vet bills… they can no longer provide for them,” she said. But with so many sick and elderly dogs in their care, the charity itself is struggling to keep up with rising costs.
“Our vet bills are always a big cost for us, they’re at the moment between £25,000 and £30,000 a month,” said Ms Rosser.
“Our utilities last year were around £4,000 a month, but we are expecting them with the current rises to be around 30% higher than that, so we’re expecting potentially around £60,000 plus for our utilities this year. “It is a worrying time.”
(Article source: BBC News)