THE cost of living crisis could lead to an increase in pets being abandoned as people's finances are stretched further and further.

That is the concern of RSPCA Cymru, who say they are already seeing an increase in abandonments.

As prices for things like fuel, energy and food all rise, people are not only having to choose between heating and eating; but also whether or not they can afford to provide for the four-legged members of their households.

RSPCA Cymru say that, before taking on such responsibility as getting a pet, thought should be given to the financial implications which often come with them.

RSPCA pet welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Taking on a pet, at any time, is a huge responsibility and before bringing one home it’s vital that people consider whether they have the time and the finances to properly care for that animal for the rest of their life."

Such financial factors can be, Dr Gaines said, even more of an issue at a time when other costs are rising.

“Across the sector, we are seeing an increase in the number of animals being abandoned as well as being surrendered," she said.

"We fear this could worsen as people return to the office or struggle with increasing costs of living.

"We believe that one of the main reasons people fail to care for their pets properly or end up abandoning them is a lack of research before they get their pet and a misunderstanding about the cost of pet ownership.

“Many people simply don’t realise how expensive and time-consuming it can be to take care of a pet. Pets need food, vet care, insurance, toys and specialist equipment, while some may also need behaviour support and training.

"However, in some cases, and as we have seen with the pandemic, some people have unexpectedly found themselves in very difficult financial circumstances and have had no choice but to give up their pet.

"For those who may be struggling, please do seek help from a reputable rescue charity as we are all here to help.”

One recent case reported to RSPCA saw four tiny kitten abandoned in a box in Merthyr Tydfil.

A member of the public reportedly saw a car leave the box of kittens and drive away.

South Wales Guardian:

Shortly after receiving the call, when RSPCA inspector Gemma Cooper arrived, just one ginger kitten was found in the box, and two black and white kittens had climbed out and had got themselves in a tricky predicament. 

“They had climbed up approximately 30 to 40 feet up a tree,” Ms Cooper said.

“They were unable to get down and were petrified."

Luckily, all four kittens were brought into the care of the RSPCA and are on the mend.

South Wales Guardian:

"Their conjunctivitis has improved immensely, but sadly the black and white short haired male has a fractured femur and is on cage rest," a spokesperson said.

"We don’t know if he had this when he was dumped or whether his “antics” caused it."

The kittens remain in foster care.

If you’d like to support the RSPCA to continue to rescue animals in need, visit