Cost of living crisis: People giving pets to rescue charities as they can no longer afford to keep them

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The increased cost of living has led to a drastic increase in pets getting abandoned around the UK.

Several animal rescue charities have reported a massive surge in people across the UK abandoning their pets as a result of the cost of living crisis.

The rising inflation and the increased energy price cap has led to many pet owners having no choice but to abandon their dogs, cats and other pets.

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The RSPCA has reported that more than 100 pets a day were abandoned in 2021, and that this number is increasing rapidly in 2022, by a shocking 24%.

AFP via Getty Images

While cats and dogs are the most common pets in the United Kingdom, there are fears that exotic animals will be hit worst during the cost of living crisis as many of them require special lighting and heat to survive. Something that some families just can not afford with the energy price cap set to increase to £3,459 a year in October.

The pets being abandoned due to the cost of living crisis coincides with a surge in households getting pets during the COVID-19 lockdowns, which saw many people getting pets as a result of staying at home.

While a lot of people part ways with their animal friends by handing them over to rescue centres, there have been multiple reports of animals found along roads by people abandoning them on the streets.

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AFP via Getty Images

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “The idea of putting your cat in a cat carrier and taking them to a secluded spot in the woods before walking away, or chucking your dog out of the car and driving off leaving them desperately running behind the vehicle, is absolutely unthinkable and heartbreaking to most pet owners - but sadly we are seeing animals callously abandoned like this every single day.

“We understand that sometimes the unexpected can happen - the pandemic and cost of living crisis proved that - but there is never an excuse to abandon an animal. There are always other options for anyone who has fallen on hard times and can no longer afford to keep their pet.”

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