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More animals coming into RSPCA’s care in East Yorkshire as rehoming slows

The RSPCA has launched its annual Adoptober campaign after revealing that the number of animals coming into its care has increased in East Yorkshire, while the number of pets being rehomed has slowed.

It is a pattern the animal welfare charity has seen repeated up and down the country, with rehoming down 8% while animal intake is up 8.4% year-on-year.

The RSPCA’s annual Adoptober rehoming drive kicked off this week and will run throughout October, promoting adoption and highlighting the many animals the charity has waiting to find their perfect match.

“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.

DR samantha gaines

It 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.

In East Yorkshire in 2021, the total number of animals rehomed fell by 3%, from 573 (2020) to 557. The number of cats slipped 8% from 462 to 424, however the number of dogs rehomed actually increased slightly – by 3% from 74 to 76 – and the number of rabbits also doubled from 15 to 30; while the number of other pets rehomed increased 23% from 22 to 27.

Across England and Wales, the average stay for an animal also increased for dogs by 9.4% – from 85 days in 2020 to 93 days in 2021 – and for rabbits – from 104 in 2020 to 117 in 2021, an increase of 12.5%. Cats length of stay remained the same at 67 days.

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.

“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. 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.”

Figures released by the charity in August revealed that its cruelty line was receiving more than 100 reports a day of animals being abandoned throughout 2021; and the concern is that the cost of living crisis could lead to this riding even higher.

RSPCA Bridlington, Driffield and District Branch is looking for a home for rabbit pair Frizzle and Patch who have been waiting a year to find their perfect match. The three-year-old Lionheads are friendly but can be timid at times.

They were previously kept in a small hutch in a dark room so have loved having access to a big enclosure to run and play in. They’ll need plenty of space to enjoy their day-to-day lives.

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