Page last updated at 13:18 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 14:18 UK

Dogs 'victims' of credit crunch

The number of dogs being abandoned across Yorkshire has increased due to the strain of the credit crunch, an animal charity claims.

Yorkshire Animal Ambulance said it has rescued about 20 dogs in the last two weeks because rising inflation is making pets too expensive.

Suzanne Waller, who runs the charity said a German Shepherd was found tied to a bench in West Yorkshire on Sunday.

Ms Waller said: "The rising cost is making dogs credit crunch victims."

She added: "Some owners have brought their dogs in to find another home but some of the animals have just been abandoned because they are seen as disposable commodities for people."

The charity said it costs owners around 20 for pet insurance per month plus excess charges, 30 for grooming and 20 for feed. While pedigree breeds cost 500-600.

One border collie which the Halifax centre took in had been left when their owner moved house. In another case two puppies, which had been left in the kennels twice, were not collected on the third occasion.

The Yorkshire Animal Ambulance said it has increasingly been working with local authority dog wardens who contact them rather than having to put the animals to sleep.

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