The increase in animals who need rehoming, is thought to be mainly due to rising costs of living, with people reporting that they can no longer afford the associated costs of caring for their animals. Many families also bought puppies, kittens and other animals during the lockdown period and have since found they are unable to care for them, now they are back at work.
Despite rescue centres and sanctuaries being full of animals needing homes, many animals are still bred for the pet industry or to be sold by backyard breeders. The public are encouraged to impulse-buy ‘cute looking’ animals, from pet shops or through online advertising, without giving adequate thought as to how they are going to care for them.
Irresponsible breeders are often difficult to identify. They breed animals to make as much money as possible and often do not provide adequate care and veterinary treatment for the animals they are breeding. Many genetic conditions are preventable, but common, as breeders often skip testing and female animals are often over bred, which can cause many health problems.
Puppies and other animals can also be imported from farms in Europe, without access to food and water on long journeys and in cramped conditions, so diseases spread easily. The imported pet trade can put animals at serious risk of severe health issues that can cost thousands of pounds in vet bills as well as emotional upset for families.
Once purchased, animals are often neglected, or abandoned altogether, once the novelty has worn off or when owners find that vet bills and other costs are too high. In fact, the number of unwanted animals is so great that many are euthanised (killed) because there are simply not enough homes for them all.
***If you have an animal that you are no longer able to care for, please get in touch with an animal rescue charity, such as the Blue Cross for advice. You should never abandon an animal, as this could place them in serious danger.***
Purchasing animals from pet shops or breeders keeps the cycle of breeding, abandonment and euthanasia going, as the sellers continue to buy or breed replacement animals.
If you do have the time, money and energy necessary to bring an animal into your home, Animal Aid urge you to adopt from a reputable sanctuary or shelter, rather than a pet shop, breeder or puppy farm.
Adopting a rescue animal can be fulfilling and rewarding. You will be providing a much-needed loving home and future for a deserving animal and this means you will free up space in a rescue centre for another animal to receive the care they need.