Cost of living: Birmingham pet rescue turn away nearly 50 animals in one day due to soaring demand

Our reporter Hannah Norbury visited Pepper's Pet Rescue in Bearwood in Birmingham to find out how the cost of living has impacted the charity.

A pet rescue charity in Birmingham has turned away nearly 50 animals in one day alone, due to the demand being so high.

From their homes, Sophie and Mel started Pepper's Pet Rescue and care for up to 80 rescues at once, including cats and rabbits.

One Saturday in November, they were asked to take in 52 animals.

But due to the cost of living, and less people fundraising, it's something they simply couldn't do.

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Sophie Pepper, who runs the charity, said they've been left with no choice but to turn people away during the crisis:

"A couple of people then said I'll have to let them go stray then, or I'll have to put them to sleep and I don't think they realise the impact that has on us.

"It plays on our mind for a long time afterwards, because there is literally nothing else we can do."

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The charity spends up to £7,000 a month on vet bills and around £400 a week at the pet shop, on essentials like food.

But the number of people willing to fundraise has slowly decreased.

Melanie Coley, who is the general manager said: "They are getting rid of them, because they can't afford to keep them and obviously because of the electric and gas prices rising, they are having to prioritise those over the cost of looking after their animals."

Stacey Croft, a volunteer at the rescue said: "Recently with the cost of living it has been more difficult.

"People aren't giving as much, fewer people are giving, we are having to do more and more to try and attract people to donate."

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The charity gets a substantial amount of cats needing to be re-homed, but recently they've seen more and more rabbits arrive at the rescue.

Melanie said: "I don't think people realise the amount of care that goes into a rabbit, they just think it gets put at the bottom of the garden, and forgotten about, which is not the case."

In the run up to Christmas, the charity is urging people to think twice about whether they can afford to keep a pet.

Sophie says it's important to remind people that a pet is long-term, she said: "If they can't afford the basic vet work, so vaccinations, micro-chipping, neutering and worming, then you've got to consider if they get sick, if they break a leg, can I afford that?

"Can I afford insurance? And if you can't, then it's not fair to take it on, because when it comes to that point, it's not fair on you and it's not fair on the animal."