RSPCA launches campaign to rehome more pets as new figures reveal more animals are coming into shelters in East Yorkshire

The RSPCA has launched its annual Adoptober campaign. Photo: RSPCA

The news comes as the animal welfare charity launched its annual Adoptober campaign, encouraging prospective pet owners to consider giving a rescued animal a new home.

In East Yorkshire, the total number of animals rehomed in 2021 fell by 3%, from 573 (2020) to 557.

The number of cats slipped 8% from 462 to 424. However, the number of dogs rehomed actually increased slightly – by 3% from 74 to 76 – and the number of rabbits also doubled from 15 to 30; while the number of other pets rehomed increased 23% from 22 to 27

The RSPCA – which operates 14 national rehoming centres across England and Wales, while supporting a network of branches with an additional 45 animal shelters – has released new figures that show rehoming has dropped 10% while animal intake is up 8.4% year-on-year.

The charity’s Adoptober rehoming drive runs throughout October, promoting adoption and highlighting the many animals the charity has waiting to find their perfect match. It fears that the cost of living crisis means more animals are coming into its care while less people are considering taking on a new pet.

Across England and Wales, the average stay for an animal (the number of days they spend in RSPCA care from being ready to rehome to leaving for their new home) also increased for dogs by 9.4% – from 85 days in 2020 to 93 days in 2021 – and for rabbits – from 104 in 2020 to 117 in 2021, an increase of 12.5%.

Cats length of stay remained the same at 67 days.

Pet welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “It’s really concerning to see that animals are staying in our care for longer and that less are being rehomed year-on-year. Unfortunately, we believe we’re really starting to see the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

“Many of the animals, particularly dogs, who are coming into our care have behavioural challenges which could be linked to how they were bred as well as lockdown limiting the amount of training, socialising and outside world experience they had.

“We’re also beginning to see more animals coming into our care because their owners simply couldn’t afford to care for them any more; or, in the most extreme cases, having been neglected or abandoned due to the rising cost of pet care.”

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