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Gables gets influx of pets as Cost of Living Crisis means people can’t afford to keep them anymore

Gables Dogs and Cats Home has seen an increase of pets needing homes due to the rising costs od essentials

The cost of living crisis is having a dramatic impact on Gables Dogs and Cats Home as more pet owners are having to give up their pets because they can no longer afford the rising costs of pet essentials.

General Manager at Gables, Claire Sparkes told Plymouth Live the rescue center is receiving more calls to take in pets as people are struggling to afford the ever increasing pet food and veterinary costs.

Claire expressed that it’s not only Gables being faced with the increasing calls, but also other rescue centers around the city. She said she worries about what will happen to all the unwanted pets if they can no longer take them in as there is only so much spaces they can offer.

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The cost of living crisis is also affecting the amount of donations being given to Gables from cat litter to washing powder. Claire said she believes the amount of donations have ‘dramatically’ declined since the crisis, even to the point the donation boxes in supermarkets are less full than before.

Additionally it’s not only the basic pet essentials that are becoming more expensive, but also the veterinary costs which is leading more pet owners unable to afford their animal family members.

Claire said: “We operate a waiting list of cats and dogs that need to come in for rehoming that people can no longer keep various reasons. The calls we are receiving are increasing now from people who genuinely can’t afford to keep their pets any longer.

Gables Dogs and Cats Home are seeing increasing calls from pet owners who can no longer afford to keep their pets due to the cost of living crisis

“it’s a real shame because they are genuinely loved pets, but the increase in their own costs for themselves and families have gone up. In the increase in dog food, and veterinary costs like flea and worm treatments and basic pet care items are increasing. It seems like everything is increasing and there’s no kind of let up for anybody and people are genuinely struggling to keep their pets.

“It’s increased significantly over the past three months and I think it’s only going to get worse and worse until it gets to a point where there are only so many animals that we can take in at any one time. It worries me what could happen to those animals if we can no longer take in because we only have so many kennels and cat pens available.

She added: “I know a lot of other rescue centers are experiencing the same problem as well.”

Gables Dogs and Cats Home are seeing increasing calls from pet owners who can no longer afford to keep their pets due to the cost of living crisis
Gables Dogs and Cats Home are seeing increasing calls from pet owners who can no longer afford to keep their pets due to the cost of living crisis

Claire continued: “Even the price of washing powder, animal food and even cat litter has increased dramatically. It’s having a knock on effect on us now. Even things like our cleaning equipment and we have had to increase staff wages to enable to afford the cost of living increases as well.All of our costs just keep going up and up.

“The donations that we usually get are cutting down because people just don’t have the extra money to donate to us. We have definitely noticed a difference since the war in Ukraine, which is understandable, and we do our bit to help, but there has been a decline in general donations.”

Talking about how people can help Gables, Claire said: “We are short of cat and dog food, cat litter and washing powder- it doesn’t have to be expensive brands or anything, if they have extra stock they are not using anymore like food, blankets, bedding and towels- we will always make use of them.

“But the biggest need is pet food and cat litter. Also fun things for the dogs and cats like toys and treats- we have noticed we are not getting those donated anymore.”

Claire also said the donation bins located in supermarkets have also declined with donations across the last few months. Claire continued: “It doesn’t have to be big donations, but just small items like a box washing powder, because we get through so much bedding here as you can imagine so we wash so much daily. Anything people can afford really.”

Discussing about the rising veterinary costs, Claire said: “we are getting a lot of animals coming in who need big operations. For example the brachycephalic breeds, which are the dogs with the flat-faces like pugs and French bulldogs, are getting a lot of them in because most of them need surgery to widen their nostrils and throats.

“And if they don’t have insurance, then owners have to fork out that kind of money to give the animals the surgery they need to live a normal life. A lot of people just can’t afford it because of the huge vet bill – it’s a vicious circle.”

“We are still here, and still needing people’s help. We are still rehoming animals and a lot of the animals we are getting in now are quite expensive to care and fix up before looking for a loving home for them.” Claire also said Gables has had a lot of dogs that have come from a puppy farm and is looking for dog behavioral specialists to help by adopting them and adding them to their families.

To keep up to date with the local rescue center, visit Gables Dogs and Cats website. Or visit the Facebook page.

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