Bolton animal shelters struggle to deal with abandoned animals

THE problem of abandoned or returned pets is compounded by the cost of living crisis.

Working from home and the need for stress relief and companionship during the various lockdowns imposed due to the pandemic has led many people to invest in pets.

While this phenomenon was widespread and the majority of people made a considered and well-researched decision, the reality and financial implications of caring for a furry friend has hit home in recent months, as many people in the country are going through difficult times.

As people decide they can no longer afford the costs of keeping an animal, rescue centers such as Diefer’s Legacy Animal Rescue are inundated with abandoned pets.

Lisa Thorley, a single mother who runs Diefer’s alongside her day job as a carer in the community, says people need to think long and hard about whether buying a pet is a viable option for them. .

“Covid was the problem,” she said.

“During lockdown, everyone got a pet.

“Everyone has kittens and puppies, and then when it comes to people going back to work, as well as the cost of living crisis, people are unable to care for them.”

One of the kittens Lisa took in

When asked if there are ways to cut costs when caring for an animal, she explained, “There are no tips on how to cut costs. Pets are very expensive and a big responsibility. A cat is a commitment of 20 to 25 years.

“The best advice is to research the animal you are buying – dogs need to be walked every day. They need to be trained. If they don’t, they will ruin your home.

She added: “Make sure you get them neutered or neutered.

“There is massive overcrowding – the stray cat population is out of control in Bolton. A cat can have a litter after eight weeks.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: ‘Nationally we have seen a 29 per cent increase in abandonment over the winter months and unfortunately we continue to see an increasing number of pets be entrusted to us.

“In the first four months of this year, we have welcomed 79% more rabbits and 18% more cats compared to 2021.

The Bolton News: Two dogs Lisa helped get homeTwo dogs Lisa helped get home

“Rising numbers of people locking up their pets, workers returning to the office and now the rising cost of living, combine to put tremendous pressure on animal welfare charities. , which is felt throughout the sector.

“We encourage anyone struggling to act now and seek help. Whether people are worried about behavioral issues with their pets, paying for veterinary issues, or even figuring out how to feed their pets, please seek help before things get worse.

“There is a lot of practical advice on our website and there are many fabulous organizations that can offer support.

The RSPCA also offers the following advice for pet owners:

  • Make sure your pet is assured to avoid surprising large bills. Shop around when it comes time to renew and stay on top of preventative care like worming and flea treatments that can turn into costly problems if left untreated.
  • Use free resources from reputable charities, such as RSPCAto help you train and find a behaviorist if you are having behavioral issues with your dog.
  • Promptly seek help and advice if you are worried veterinary costs

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