Animal centers across the United Kingdom have experienced a record number of inquiries for dog and cat returns as a result of the country’s rising living costs, which has led many owners to conclude that the cost of additional food and hefty medical expenses are no longer manageable.
According to Reuters, Steve Craddock, who manages an animal center in southwest London said, “We are concerned that’s going to be an increasing reason for people bringing their dogs [into the center].”
Due to their requirement for specialized heating and lighting, exotic pets like snakes and lizards are also proving to be extremely expensive.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) informed Reuters that three snakes, including an 8-foot (2.4-meter) boa constrictor, were recently left in pillow cases outside a reptile shop.
Dogs Trust reported that the last time it had seen something similar was in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. According to Dogs Trust currently, there are 692 dogs in need of homes across 21 centers throughout the country.
The trust’s operations director, Adam Clowes said, “This cost-of-living crisis has crept up on us a lot more quickly than people ever expected.”
The burden is so severe that the non-profit organization is debating whether to extend access to an emergency support fund, which is typically only available to those receiving welfare payments that require temporary financial assistance in order to maintain their dogs.