'No surprise' at rise in pet abandonment

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:53 10 June 2010

PET-LOVERS from Exmouth are not shocked to hear that the number of animals abandoned because of the recession had reached a worrying level.

PET-LOVERS from Exmouth are not shocked to hear that the number of animals abandoned because of the recession had reached a worrying level.In a study conducted by the RSPCA, figures revealed this week showed that the number of pets left neglected had soared by 57 per cent - and the problem is becoming worse.Pat Wilkins, who runs the Exmouth animal dispensary in The Strand, said it was terrible that people would even consider abandoning their animals.But, she explained: "I'm not surprised. Veterinary fees are so high, people can't afford them."Pat said whenever the country goes into recession, invariably it would always be the vulnerable, such as the elderly and pets, who were affected the most."I cannot understand why people would want to get rid of them," she added."My advice to people would be to try keep hold of their pets. Certainly, from my perspective, my pet is the last thing I would want to get rid of."A spokesman from the RSPCA said the national figures were reflected in Devon.Typical examples of abandoned pets included a litter of puppies found dead in a shoebox and a sick pony dumped on a common.Patricia Yates, 45, owner of the Pet Shack, in Exmouth, said she was not surprised the figures had risen and explained her shop had struggled with sales since the start of the credit-crunch."The cost of vet bills are expensive. People are more careful with their money - they don't have as much disposable income."Retired Gillian Newcombe, of Victoria Road, Exmouth, who has a dog called Coco, said: "People should consider the costs in advance of buying a pet."Phil May, 55, of Church Road, Exmouth, believes when the country's economy struggles, the first thing from a family context many people consider getting rid of, sadly was their pets.Phil, who has a dog called Leah, added: "It doesn't surprise me that the RSPCA have revealed there to be a rise in the number of abandoned animals."For more information on animal welfare, contact the RSPCA on: 0300 1234 555.

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