Devon animal shelter struggling due to cost of living crisis

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An animal charity in Devon which has been rehoming dogs for fifty years is under pressure because of the rising cost of living.

ARC Animal Rescue Centre at Ottery St Mary has seen a huge increase in the number of dogs being handed in since the end of last year.

Manager Crystal Scott, who has been running the centre for three decades, says pet owners are unable to cope.

Roxy has been at the rescue centre since November and needs a new home Credit: ITV WESTCOUNTRY

Crystal says the charity's running costs are now about £12,000 a month, because electricity bills just keep going up. They use a lot of water, which is metered and food and fuel are becoming more expensive. It has also been difficult to raise funds during the pandemic.

"I've probably got enough money in the bank now for six months but that's it", she says, "We have no big donations sitting on our doorstep at the moment. All the big charities have whole departments raising money. I have to do it myself when I have got time, which is very difficult."

Crystal Scott has capacity for 16 dogs at her rehoming centre Credit: ITV WESTCOUNTRY

Many of the dogs being handed in to them at the moment are pets which were taken on during the pandemic. Owners now feel they can't look after them because they are spending more time at work again, their circumstances have changed or they just can't afford it.

Animal Welfare worker, Hannah Curtis says "There are a lot more coming in at the moment. We are getting a lot of younger dogs that people have taken on through lockdown and now they can't cope because obviously they are going back to work."

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