Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Monday, 16 June 2008 19:05 UK

Pets 'abandoned in credit crunch'

One of the abandoned dogs at the home
It costs about 10,000 to pay for a dog over its lifetime, experts say

Staff at an animal sanctuary have said increasing numbers of pets are being abandoned because the credit crunch mean owners cannot afford them.

Birmingham Dogs Home said about 300 animals were being handed into them each month - compared to 250 a month this time last year.

Animal charity the PDSA said it had also seen a 10% increase in people applying for free vets' bills.

It costs about 7,000 to keep a cat for its lifetime and 10,000 for a dog.

Experts said the rising costs of pet food, vets' bills and other factors were making it increasingly more expensive to keep a pet.

Alayna Warner, of Birmingham Dogs Home, said: "We've had a couple of people call us - one was a lady desperate to get her dog rehomed, saying she just couldn't look after the dog anymore.

"Jokingly she said it was either the kids or the dog."

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