Pet adoption rates falling dramatically

AN ANIMAL charity is calling on supporters to consider adopting a pet after reporting rehoming in South Yorkshire is slowing down, with the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis taking the blame.

RSPCA says its annual Adoptober campaign to promote adoption of rescued animals is more important than ever, with new figures revealing more animals are coming into shelters while the number being found new homes has dropped.

Figures for 2021 show in South Yorkshire the total number of animals rehomed slipped by 14 per cent from 2020 with 1,015 instead of 1,184 rehomed.

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There were large falls in the rate for cats, dogs and particularly rabbits.

The RSPCA fears that the cost of living crisis means more animals are coming into its care while less people are considering taking on a new pet.

Pet welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “It’s really concerning to see that animals are staying in our care for longer and that less are being rehomed year-on-year.

“Unfortunately, we believe we’re really starting to see the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

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“Many of the animals — particularly dogs — who are coming into our care have behavioural challenges which could be linked to how they were bred as well as lockdown limiting the amount of training, socialising and outside world experience they had.

“We’re also beginning to see more animals coming into our care because their owners simply couldn’t afford to care for them any more or, in the most extreme cases, having been neglected or abandoned due to the rising cost of pet care.

“Sadly, this is coming at the same time that potential pet owners are deciding now is not the best time to take on an animal due to the soaring cost of living, and feeling they cannot financially commit to adding a pet to their family at such a worrying time.

“For those who are able to bring a pet into their home, we are urging them to really consider adopting rather than buying.

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“Many of our animals will already be neutered, vaccinated and treated for fleas and worms, making it much more cost-effective, and we will work them to make sure they find their perfect match.”

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