Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 17:35 UK

Pet charity's credit crunch fears

An unwanted puppy (library picture)
The trust in Powys is caring for 20 dogs

The credit crunch is resulting in hundreds of pets being made homeless, claims an animal charity.

Powys Animal Welfare Trust said the number of abandoned cats and dogs in its care had doubled to over 400 since 2006 and it was struggling to cope.

Its non-rejection policy means it accepts pets from England and Wales, and it has taken in animals from as far afield as Dorset and Lancashire.

But the RSPCA said it had not witnessed a rise in abandoned pets.

However, in recent weeks, other charities in Birmingham, Devon and Cornwall have blamed the credit crunch for the big rise in pets in their care.

Aldwyth Bates, who is a trustee of Powys Animal Welfare Trust and runs its sanctuary in Newtown, said there was a problem right across the UK.

The situation is in crisis
Aldwyth Bates, Powys Animal Welfare Trust

She said the trust's non-rejection policy meant groups from around the UK were referring owners with unwanted pets to it.

Mrs Bates said: "In the past year we've taken in animals from as far afield as Dorset, Lancashire, Cheshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

"We also took in 30 cats from a couple in south Wales after their house was repossessed.

"We have also taken animals from four small holdings in Ceredigion, Denbighshire, Snowdonia and Cheshire after they were repossessed.

"There's no question the rise in the number of animals we are dealing with is down to the credit crunch. The situation is in crisis.

"Roughly speaking, we're taking in about three animals a day, and we now have 400 cats and 20 dogs."

Meanwhile, the UK charity Cats Protection said figures from its 29 adoption centres showed there had been an increase in abandoned or returned cats, but it was difficult to say why.

'Subsidised treatment'

However, a survey it carried out of 1,000 people found that 78% believed owners did not think about the long-term future when they took on a cat.

Another 48% of people abandoned them because they were moving house.

The RSPCA in Wales said: "We have not seen a rise in abandoned pets specifically linked to the credit crunch.

"Animals abandoned in a manner which is likely to cause suffering is a criminal offence. Subsidised treatment is on offer for people on low incomes."

Pets 'abandoned in credit crunch'
16 Jun 08 |  West Midlands
Crunch blamed as pets abandoned
02 Jun 08 |  England


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