Безденежные британцы отказываются от домашних животных из-за роста стоимости жизни

Безденежные британцы отказываются от домашних животных из-за роста стоимости жизни

Standing up on her hind legs to greet any potential owner who might approach her glass-doored kennel, Harriet is a black English Cocker Spaniel abandoned as a deepening cost-of-living crisis forces more and more Britons to part ways with their pets.

She was found running down a busy road in London after witnesses saw her being pushed out of her car. She is one of 206 dogs and 164 cats currently cared for at relocation centers run by the charity Battersea.

It’s a similar story in other centers across the country — with some record dog and cat return requests — as the most severe living restrictions since at least the 1960s are forcing many owners to tackle additional food costs plus hundreds of pounds in veterinary fees. accounts are no longer manageable.

“We are concerned that people will be bringing their dogs to Battersea more often,” Steve Craddock, who runs the center in southwest London, told Reuters.

Exotic pets such as snakes and lizards also prove to be too expensive due to the need for special heating and lighting.

Three snakes, including an 8-foot boa constrictor, were recently abandoned in pillowcases outside a reptile store, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said.

The trend, which follows a spike in demand for pets during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in a country known for its love of animals, comes as households prepare for electricity bills to more than triple times in January compared to last year, which will hit people’s incomes.

The Bank of England has warned that the UK is facing a protracted recession.

Dogs Trust, which currently has 692 dogs in need of shelter at 21 centers across the country, said it last saw something like this after the 2008 financial crash.

“This cost-of-living crisis has crept up on us much faster than people ever expected,” said Trust COO Adam Close.

Such is the pressure that the charity is considering whether it should expand the emergency support fund, usually reserved for welfare recipients who need short-term financial support to keep their pets, to more middle-income people.

Charities say they are also concerned that declining living standards will affect donations, though they haven’t seen it yet.

In Battersea, some pets are moving. Magpie is a British Shorthair who became pregnant after her owner realized two years later that they couldn’t afford kittens. All of her four kittens have now found new homes.

But that’s unlikely to be the case for most animals, as another charity, Woodgreen, says animal adoption applications have dropped to 100 per month from about 10,000 during the lockdown.
Pilar Gomez-Igbo, assistant editor, could be one of the potential owners, but after doing some research, she is now worried about more expenses.

“As the change in the cost of living has become more apparent, yes, definitely it has joined the list of things to seriously consider,” she said. “I will make myself wait a little.