There has been a shocking 120-plus per cent jump in the number of abandoned animals taken in by Bath Cats and Dogs Home.
Well-known dog lover Mayor Dan Norris visited the Bath charity to make an appeal for people to come forward to give these rescue animals a second chance of happiness.
Bath Cats and Dogs Home told the Mayor it is facing the “perfect storm”. There was a steep rise in pet ownership during the pandemic, and then a severe cost-of-living crisis.
A shortage of vets due to Brexit also means some owners cannot get their animals neutered, according to some charities.
The much-loved Bath shelter also says more animals are coming through the doors of their vet suite with increasingly complex medical conditions - but fewer families are able to adopt due to the cost-of-living crisis.
There was a 121% jump in the number of abandoned animals taken in last year, and their animal intake numbers remain equally high this year.
One pet looking for a forever home currently being cared for by the team is affectionate and loving 10-month-old Jack Russell Terrier, Peaches.
She was brought in as a stray by a member of the public with a deep open wound on her neck before receiving urgent treatment by the brilliant Bath team setting her on the path to recovery, and behaviour rehabilitation to build her confidence.
As part of a special World Animal Day drive, the Mayor is asking Bath and North-East Somerset locals who have room for a loving pooch or cat in their life to look on the Bath Cats and Dogs Home ‘how to adopt’ web page.
But the Mayor says locals should think carefully about the costs and commitment that come with it.
He said: "It’s heartbreaking to think about what some of these gorgeous animals like Peaches have been through.
“But local people can help by giving them a second chance, or spreading the word about the flood of abandoned animals we’re seeing, and what people can do about it, to friends and family.
“There is obviously a lot to take on board when you get a pet. I know first hand how caring and looking after pets is so rewarding, but it’s also a really big commitment.”
Nathan Fuller, Head of Fundraising and Trading at Bath Cats and Dogs Home, added: “Animal rescue centres like Bath Cats and Dogs Home are stretched to the limit at present due to the perfect storm of the cost-of-living crisis and the dramatic increase in pet ownership during the pandemic.
“Our commitment to open intake means we often care for animals with medical or behaviour issues that need extra attention, leading to longer and more costly stays before we can find their forever home.
“During this time of overwhelming demand for our rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming services, the support of our local community and anyone who cares about animal welfare is more vital than ever.”