RSPCA launches ‘Adoptober’ to encourage people to rehome an abandoned animal

New figures have revealed a significant drop in rehoming

The RSPCA has launched Adoptober, its annual campaign to encourage prospective pet owners to adopt a rescued animal this October.

Today, on World Animal Day, new figures released by the RSPCA reveal that rehoming rescued pets has dropped 10 percent, while the intake of abandoned animals is on the rise over 8 percent a year. The RSPCA’s network of centres and branches across the country rehomed 26,945 animals, last year, and the average stay of an animal in RSPCA care also increased.

The number of dogs rehomed by the charity also fell 6 percent from 4,877 in 2020 to 4,567 in 2021; while cats dropped 12 percent from 17,868 in 2020 to 15,579 in 2021. In our area of Tyne and Wear specifically, the total number of rehomed animals dropped 41 percent from 187 in 2020 to 110 in 2021.

Adoptober will run throughout October, as it does every year, promoting adoption of pets and showing the public the many animals the RSPCA currently have, who are waiting to find their forever home.

Many animals in the RSPCA need new homes

The RSPCA have expressed concerns that the cost of living crisis may lead to more animals being abandoned, and that less people will consider adopting due to financial worries.

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.

“Sadly, this is coming at the same time that potential pet owners are deciding now is not the best time to take on an animal due to the soaring cost of living, and feeling they cannot financially commit to adding a pet to their family at such a worrying time.

“For those who are able to bring a pet into their home, we are urging them to really consider adopting rather than buying. Many of our animals will already be neutered, vaccinated and treated for fleas and worms - making it much more cost-effective - and we will work them to make sure they find their perfect match.”