Animal shelter sees more dogs being given up as cost of living crisis hits

There are fears for the future of an animal rescue centre in Bristol which is struggling to cope with increased demand amid a drop-off in financial donations.

Inflation has now reached a 40-year high of 10.1%, meaning fewer people have the ability to support charities such as Bristol Animal Rescue Centre.

The centre has been helping animals for 135 years - but a perfect storm of increased demand, rising costs and falling donations are putting the service under intense pressure.

Gina Jones, from the centre, said: "We rely almost entirely on donations from the local community to fund our work.

"With more people struggling than ever before given the current climate that we're in, and the bills increasing, we're at risk if we don't get those donations coming in."

The centre is now full, with cats and dogs being handed over by desperate owners unable to meet the costs of care.

They're staying longer, too, as some pets bought during lockdown have not been properly trained and can't be quickly rehomed.

Gina Jones, from Bristol Animal Shelter. Credit: ITV

Gina said: "We do a great deal of behavioural work to get them ready for re-homing. That takes quite a bit longer, so that means a lot of the dogs we do have are staying a lot longer because they need more work and that then impacts on the amount of dogs we're able to take in."

The UK's largest dog welfare charity says unwanted pets are on the rise given the squeeze on people's budgets.

It costs £2 million a year to keep the doors of the Bristol centre open to thousands of animals each year and staff say they are unsure about how much longer this will be sustainable for.