Berwick Animal Rescue Kennels extremely busy as cost of living bites

Animals are being affected by the cost of living crisis, as families struggle to feed their pets or stump up for vets’ bills.

By Andrew Coulson
Sunday, 26th June 2022, 11:00 am
Two of the animals being looked after by the team at Berwick Animal Rescue Kennels.
Two of the animals being looked after by the team at Berwick Animal Rescue Kennels.

The hard-working team at Berwick Animal Rescue Kennels (BARK) revealed this week that it is looking after almost double the maximum number of animals it cares for when ‘almost full’.

As a result, struggling pet owners are being urged to seek help because there is support available if certain criteria are met.

In addition, a new RSPCA report – in part based on a YouGov survey of more than 4,000 UK adults – has revealed that 68 per cent of people in the North East said the cost of looking after their pet had become more expensive over the last 12 months.

BARK manager Jan Ross said: “We always have peaks and troughs with the intake of animals, but at the moment we aren’t seeing the trough.

“We would normally expect 40 to 50 animals in kennels as a ‘nearly full’ figure. We now (as of Monday afternoon) have 79 animals in. We have a couple of animals going out and their spaces are already filled with animals waiting to come in.

“A number of the animals coming in have more complex needs. We currently have a young dog, an 18-month-old, in need of two hip replacements and rats, gerbils, cats and rabbits have all come in recently with extra vet bills due to conditions that have gone untreated.

“Apart from vet bills, people are also struggling with food for their animals and even simple things like worm treatments are costing a lot of money.

“Another key issue is neutering. That is a three-figure sum and so more people are putting it off and then it’s too late.

“Our message to pet owners struggling with costs is ask for help because there are various charities that can provide assistance for things like neutering.

“Your local vets may have links to organisations that have funds available, which are not public knowledge as these organisations don’t want to be inundated with applications, if you meet certain criteria.”

The RSPCA report also revealed that the rising cost of living and cost of pet ownership could threaten animal welfare, as 78 per cent of pet owners in the North East said they think the cost of living will impact their animals.