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Less people willing to adopt abandoned pets according to RSPCA

Rehoming is down 25% at RSPCA Cymru’s two national rehoming centres

Newport, staff are doing everything they can to find a forever home for Jack Russell Shiloh.

According to new figures* 72% of the UK population say they are not planning on getting a new pet. The shocking results come as the RSPCA faces the biggest rehoming crisis in recent memory, with rehoming falling sharply at two national RSPCA centres.

The RSPCA’s rescue centres and branches are “full to bursting” with unwanted animals as more animals come into care than are being adopted. Between 2021 and 2022, the charity saw a six percent increase in the number of dogs taken into care and a four percent increase in the number of cats.

RSPCA’s two national rehoming centres – Newport and Bryn-Y-Maen in Upper Colwyn Bay, have reported a 25% decrease in rehoming between 2021 and 2022. While together they rehomed 405 animals in 2022 (241 by Newport and 164 by Bryn-Y-Maen), this fell from a combined 542 during the previous year. (please see table below)

To try and revive adoption rates, the RSPCA’s month-long Adoptober rehoming campaign launches today (2 October), celebrating the wonder of rescue pets, and highlighting the many animals the charity has waiting to find their perfect match.

However, concerns are increasing about capacity challenges at RSPCA centres, as the number of animals being adopted are also dropping. Across England and Wales, the number of animals rehomed dropped by five percent from 2021 to 2022 falling to 25,535 animals in 2022, compared to 26,945 during the previous year.

This marks a longer-term collapse in rehoming rates; which have fallen by 34% from three years ago (in 2019) – when 39,178 animals were rehomed.

In addition, a YouGov survey* found that, when asked ‘When, if at all, are you planning to get a new pet?’, 72% percent of people stated that they were not planning to get a new pet.

Samantha Gaines, head of companion animals at the RSPCA said: “We’re lucky to have so many wonderful people adopting rescue animals from our centres and branches every week, but the reality is, it’s not enough.

“The number of animals we’re taking in currently isn’t balancing with the number that are being adopted, and we’re well on our way to a crisis point.

“We fear even more unwanted animals will be coming into our care, as the cost of living crisis bites. This year already we’ve received 9,748 calls about abandoned or unwanted animals, compared to 8,551 in the first six months of 2022.

“Before long, all of our centres will be full to bursting.

“That’s why we’ve launched Adoptober – one month dedicated to promoting amazing rescue pets, and why people looking to add an animal to their family should always choose to adopt.

“Adoptober is a chance for us to celebrate how much pets can benefit our lives, shine a light on the many animals we currently have looking for new homes, and highlight support and advice for people to keep their animals safely during the cost of living crisis.

“We’d never advise anybody to get a pet if they’re not fully committed or in a position to provide for that animal, but, for those who are looking for advice on how to manage, we’ve got plenty of information on our website – such as our cost of living pet tipsand pet cost calculator.”