Pets suffer as owners feel the squeeze in cost of living crisis

People are finding it increasingly hard to look after their pets during the cost of living crisis.

The cost of living crisis has led to an increasing number of pets being returned or abandoned as owners continue to feel the squeeze.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a surge in pet ownership but now people are returning their animals because of rising bills.

Animal charities across the region have seen a sharp increase in owners surrendering their pets.

Marina's Animal Shelter in Truro, for example, has taken in more than 75 guinea pigs and rabbits - and has more on the waiting list.

Animal charities across the region say a concerning number of pets, including rabbits (pictured), are being returned by owners. Credit: RSPCA Cornwall

Hannah Jenkins, from the shelter, said: "We've definitely seen an increase in animals wanting to come in because of the cost of living crisis.

"We've had more animals coming onto us from people who can't afford accommodation, people who are being evicted or can't afford to feed their animals, but we're really concerned about at the moment is the number of animals that have been abandoned.

Bristol Animal Rescue Centre, which has operated for more than 100 years, said donations have also taken a hit as a result of the crisis.

"We're obviously seeing an increased demand for our service," Gina Jones said.

"People are struggling to afford their pets so we're seeing more sign-overs and more demand for our outreach program.

"We have more people struggling than ever before thanks to the cost of living we are struggling to secure those essential donations to keep our services running."