Posted: Tue 18th Jun 2024

RSPCA rescue centres overflow as costs skyrocket

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

The RSPCA is sounding the alarm over an escalating animal welfare crisis as its rescue centres are pushed to their limits, with animals arriving faster than they can be rehomed.

The charity, celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, reports that the cost of providing emergency shelter has soared to around £500,000 a month, forcing over 1,400 animals into private boarding.

In the first four months of this year alone, the RSPCA has spent £2.1 million on private boarding, with nearly £1.2 million dedicated to kennelling hundreds of dogs due to full centres.

Karen Colman, Head of Animal Logistics and Welfare Oversight, highlighted the severity of the situation: “Our rescue and rehoming centres are at breaking point. We currently have 503 dogs waiting to come into our rehoming centres, cared for by an amazing network of private boarding kennels. But amid the cost of living crisis, these costs are mounting every month.”

The charity is urging the public to consider adopting rescue animals, as rehoming rates have struggled due to the economic downturn. Dr Samantha Gaines, Head of the RSPCA Companion Animals Team, noted, “We’re seeing more animals coming into our care and more pet owners turning to us for help because of the increasing costs of owning a pet. A recent RSPCA survey found 72% of people were not planning to get a new pet.”

The RSPCA remains committed to its policy of not euthanising healthy, rehomeable animals, which means animals are staying longer in care as fewer people adopt.

Carmen Cole, from the RSPCA Macclesfield, South East Cheshire, and Buxton Branch, described the situation as “dire” with over 180 owners enquiring about giving up their pets.

The charity has launched a Cost of Living Hub offering advice to struggling pet owners and a dedicated telephone helpline.

They encourage anyone who can rehome a pet to visit their Find A Pet service and are appealing for donations to support their vital work.

Jackson, a three-year-old German Shepherd cross, exemplifies the crisis.

Rescued in November 2023, Jackson was found lying beside his deceased owner and is currently housed in a private boarding kennel awaiting space in an RSPCA centre to start his rehoming journey.

As the RSPCA battles this mounting crisis, they urge families able to commit to a pet to adopt, providing these animals a second chance at life and relieving the burden on rescue centres.

  • The RSPCA has launched a Cost of Living Hub with lots of advice to help pet owners who may be struggling with the cost of caring for their pets, as well as a dedicated telephone helpline.

  • Anyone who feels they’re able to rehome a pet can see all of the animals ready to find love on Find A Pet.

  • To support the RSPCA in our vital work rescuing animals from cruelty and neglect, rehabilitating and rehoming, please donate online.

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