Alliance Animal Welfare spokesperson Patrick Brown MLA has raised concerns that a knock-on impact of the cost-of-living crisis will be rising numbers of pets being given to shelters or abandoned.
This follows a number of animal charities in South Down and across Northern Ireland highlighting that they are having to manage a sharp rise in the number of abandoned pets.
In July, research carried out by YouGov on behalf of Dogs Trust found that nearly half of dog owners are now finding that the cost-of-living crisis is making it more difficult for them to give their dogs all they need.
Patrick said: “The energy crisis and rising inflation is having a devastating impact on people, it is also going to lead to knock-on issues, one of which is that people tragically can’t afford to care for their pets as they would want.”
“The cost of vet bills, food and insurance are huge concerns for people, and they are being forced to make impossible decisions because of financial pressures. With people returning to the office following lockdown, personal situations are also changing. The other side of this is that people that might have adopted pets are now hesitant to do so.”
“This is of course leading to huge pressure falling on animal charities, who are struggling with their own rising costs. There are going to be many other issues arising out of this cost-of-living crisis, this is just one. Alliance Councillor David Lee-Surginor has written to the council to see what can be done to support charities taking-in abandoned pets, but of course to help with the cost of living we need a restored Assembly and Executive immediately.”