Alliance Animal Welfare spokesperson Patrick Brown MLA has raised concerns a knock-on impact of the cost-of-living crisis will be rising numbers of pets being given to shelters or abandoned.
It follows a number of animal charities in Northern Ireland and across the UK highlighting they are having to manage a sharp rise in the number of abandoned pets. Last month, research carried out by YouGov on behalf of Dogs Trust found nearly half of dog owners are now finding the cost of living crisis is making it more difficult for them to give their dogs all they need.
“The energy crisis and rising inflation is having a devastating impact on people. It is also going to lead to knock-on issues, one of which is people tragically can’t afford to care for their pets as they would want,” said South Down MLA Mr Brown.
“The cost of vet bills, food and insurance are huge concerns for people, and they are being forced to make impossible decisions because of financial pressures. With people returning to the office following lockdown, personal situations are also changing. The other side of this is that people that might have adopted pets are now hesitant to do so.
“This is of course leading to huge pressure falling on animal charities, who are struggling with their own rising costs. Sadly this is just one issue coming out of the cost of living crisis and why Alliance has launched its Combatting the Crisis document, outlining our proposals to tackle it.
“We need to see those implemented, and a restored Assembly and Executive immediately, so we can give people the help they need.”