K9 Magazine‘s editor and publisher Ryan O’Meara has issued a warning that the economic recession in Britain is leading to a growing number of dogs being surrendered to animal re-homing charities, placing an even greater burden on an already over-stretched sector.
The website has seen a 200% increase in the number of people asking for information on rehoming their pets since the start of 2012.
The most common credit crunch related reasons cited for giving a dog up are:
1) Can no longer afford to keep the dog
2) Losing home / eviction – resulting in having to rent or live with friends and family
3) Being forced to work longer hours – not enough time to spare for the dog
4) Loss of job resulting in need to downscale to smaller property unsuitable for dog
“Dogs do and always will cost money and yes, they do need a place to sleep, a bed, food and water. But ultimately there are measures owners can take to ensure this period of economic belt tightening does not cost dogs their homes.
Pet insurance, for instance, enables owners to have their veterinary expenses covered in the event of accident or illness. Pet insurance policies start from as little as £10 per month which is just 32p per day. Food bills can be reduced, dogs do not need to have the most expensive supermarket own brand pet food to be happy and healthy, they can actually be happier and even healthier if owners do a deal with their local butcher to get the day’s unsold raw meat at reduced cost. And for those people who are suggesting to us that eviction is causing them to make a rapid decision about rehoming, they should plan, plan and plan some more.
If there is even the merest hint of losing a home, start talking with prospective landlords who will be happy to allow pets on their property. Very often a compromise deal can be had, provided it is planned for. For instance, some dog owners offer their landlords what is known as a dog-bond, a simple contract drawn up that tells the landlord that the dog’s owner is happy to pay for absolutely any damage or inconvenience caused by their pet. This peace of mind can persuade many landlords to be lenient on their no pets policy.”