Published on February 26, 2014 | by Ali Fortescue


Londoners Ditch Their Dogs

Flurry and Slipper are a 'huge responsibility' according to Catherine Alliott

Flurry and Slipper are a ‘huge responsibility’ according to Catherine Alliott

Battersea Dogs Home has told LCC news they are being given 14 unwanted dogs a day as more people suffer from the financial strain of having a pet. The number of abandoned pets is increasing year on year. Animal charities fear that money worries are to blame.

A furry friend doesn’t come cheap. Figures from pet insurer Animal Friends show the average cost of owning a dog is around £500 a year.

Best-selling author Catherine Alliott lives in Putney with her two dogs and says people need to be prepared for the  “huge responsibility” when they buy a pet. She says it’s cruel not to walk a dog 4 times a day which can be “very difficult in London”. She says people should “weigh up the time spent looking after a dog but also the expense because it can be quite a commitment”.

“weigh up the time spent looking after a dog but also the expense because it can be quite a commitment”.

With pet abandonment on the rise and convictions for animal neglect up by nearly 34%, according to the RSPCA’s latest figures, what’s keeping man and his best friend together?

Big Issue seller Sally works in Charing Cross and says she’d never give up her dachshund because she’d  “rather spend money on a friend than anything else”. Passers by too, she told me, can’t resist stopping to say hello and then buy a Big Issue.

For animal lovers who can’t make the stretch, there’s still hope: invest part-time. James gave up his dog because of the cost and now rents Archie the Labrador at weekends: “we’re always happy to see each other” he says, but admits sharing him is a struggle. Still, renting a pet may be a cheaper solution for cash-strapped Londoners yearning for a faithful four-legged friend.

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