The RSPCA is to turn away unwanted pets from animal rescue centres in an attempt to save money during the recession. The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA) has been taking in animals for more than 180 years. But membership is falling and the charity needs to save more than £50 million over the next three years.
At the same time there has been a signifincant rise in the number of animals abandoned by owners who could no longer afford pets during the credit crunch An internal document advises staff that pets suffering cruelty and neglect must be given priority.
This will mean rejecting thousands of animals brought into RSPCA centres every year, sometimes with excuses such as the animals are no longer in fashion or the owners are going on holiday.
The charity will continue to take in animals abandoned anonymously, except stray dogs which are the responsibility of the local authority. But owners bringing in unwanted pets will be directed to another charity or given advice on how to look after the animal.Tim Wass, Head of Inspectorate, said the RSPCA has been “the dustbin for society’s animals” but the charity cannot afford to keep on taking in every unwanted pet.He said 75,000 animals are re-homed every year but all centres are currently full and the charity has a duty to concentrate on animals suffering cruelty and neglect.