Animal shelters are reporting high levels of abandoned pets during Christmas as the credit crunch hits pet owners.
Almost 300 dogs have been recovered from Birmingham’s streets and dozens more animals reported abandoned.
Last month 288 strays were brought in to the Birmingham Dogs’ Home in Digbeth. One was a puppy so poorly through starvation that it had to be put to sleep.
The reason for the high number of strays is thought to be related to the credit crunch.
Alayna Warner, from the dogs’ home, said people had telephoned the home for help because their property was being repossessed or they faced eviction. “Common sense would say people’s finances have got to have had some impact but because they are stray dogs they haven’t got any history on them,” she said.
According to the RSPCA, 58 cats, 22 dogs and four rabbits were recovered after more than 35 calls were received. A bird was found in a cardboard box on church steps.
Ms Warner added that last year’s figure was already much higher than in 2007, when 228 strays were brought in during December. Only 27 dogs were claimed, compared with 45 in 2007.
She said: “We’ve had an amazing number of dogs coming into us and we’re desperate for people to come in and re-home them. We’re all dog-lovers here and none of us can ever imagine a worse outcome in life than letting our dogs go and what’s more frustrating is it doesn’t seem to end.”
To give a home to an animal call RSPCA’s pet adoption line on 0300 123 8484 or visit the dogs’ home, New Bartholomew Street (11am-4.45pm, Monday-Saturday).