From fancy cars to foreign holidays, Britons have had to relinquish all sorts of luxuries as the credit crunch takes hold. To this list we can now add pets: 57% more animals were abandoned last year than in 2007, according to figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).And UK RSPCA
Shame on The Guardian for categorising pets as luxuries. Perhaps they should also feature stories about the elderly (old age pensioners) who for many years would rather go without heating and meals themselves so that they can continue to keep their feline companions. They would never consider their pets as luxuries.
The number of animals abandoned across England and Wales has soared by 57 per cent, and the problem seems to be getting even worse, latest RSPCA figures reveal.
We dealt with 11,586 dumped animals last year, a shocking average of more than 30 animals abandoned every day of the year, compared to 7,347 abandoned animals in 2007.
The number of abandoned cats rose by 50 per cent in 2008, while dogs increased by nearly a third.
And the trend seems set to continue as figures from the first two months of 2009 show a further 1,432 animals abandoned.
Typical examples of abandoned animals include:
Commenting on the rise in animal abandonments, chief officer of the RSPCA inspectorate, Tim Wass, said: "It is an offence to abandon any animal and there is never any excuse for doing so.
- a badly neglected dog dumped in a bin liner and left to die
- two cats dumped in a drawstring bag and left to freeze to death
- a litter of puppies found dead in a shoebox
- a sick pony dumped on a common.
"If people have pets they cannot care for, for any reason, then help and advice is always available from the RSPCA."
Caring for the latest victims of the credit crunch
The 2008 figures also show a 52 per cent increase in the number of calls we received from members of the public wanting to give up an animal.
The RSPCA is facing pressure on two fronts as we try to cope with the increase in workload caused in part by the recession, but also face our own financial pressures.
The fall in property prices is expected to reduce income from legacies, and the recession is also likely to reduce donations to the charity, so we are going to have to consider cutting jobs.