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Pets imperilled by economic climate

Wednesday May 4th 2011

People are struggling to take proper care of their pets as household bills soar, according to a study by an animal charity.

Two-thirds of the people The Blue Cross questioned admitted they found it difficult to find the cash to care for their pets - £11.04 per week, on average.

Leftovers from meals at home formed a major part of pets' diets, according to the study, with nearly 500,000 people choosing to feed their pets this way.

A fifth of pet owners said that rises in some Pet Insurance premiums had forced them to cut back on trips to the vet, while creatures owned by people who have recently separated were feeling the pinch more, cutting spending on pets by £2 every week.

Stray animals left abandoned at Blue Cross centres rose by 19% last year, with just under 1,000 cars and 419 dogs wandering the streets. More than 4,000 animals were given up voluntarily. Lara Sleight, from The Blue Cross, said: "Animals add so much to our lives but it's important that people understand the cost, time and commitment involved before taking one on."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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