Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pets Kicked out as Credit Crunch Bites; Huge Rise in Numbers at Animal Shelter

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pets Kicked out as Credit Crunch Bites; Huge Rise in Numbers at Animal Shelter

Article excerpt

Byline: Sam Wood

UNWANTED pets are being abandoned because of financial pressures created by the credit crunch, officials at a North East animal shelter said last night.

Leyla Rutter, chief executive of the Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter at Benton North Farm, North Tyneside, said staff were struggling to cope after a huge influx of animals over the last few weeks.

She told The Journal that she feared financial pressures were leaving many pet owners with no alternative other than to dump their animals.

"Unfortunately as people realise they have to tighten their belts as the prices of fuel, energy and food goes up, one of the first things to go is the family pet," she said.

The shelter's two sites - at Benton North Farm and at Claremont Road in Newcastle - have more than 250 dogs and 60 cats between them and the extra animals are putting pressure on staff and the resources of the shelter.

Ms Rutter said: "We have seen a huge increase over the last few weeks, particularly with cats, a lot more than we would normally get at this time of year.

Just a few weeks ago we had very few cats and they were being picked up as quickly as they were coming in, then suddenly we have seen this huge increase.

"We don't usually have that amount of animals in our shelters, particularly with cats, until later in the year, around July, when people begin to go on holiday and realise they will have to pay for their animals to be looked after.

"It must have something to do with the financial pressures people are facing."

Many of the cats which have been brought in to the shelter are pregnant.

Ms Rutter said she feared that people were not neutering their cats due to the expense involved. She said: "We would always recommend getting a cat neutered but it can cost between pounds 50 and pounds 60 for the operation which seems to be putting people off. …

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