Collaboration Needed To Combat 'Credit Crunch Cast Outs'
13 years agoVets from online pet companies are calling for industry wide collaboration to combat the predicted rise in animal abandonment this year. Andrew Bucher from socially responsible online pet pharmacy MedicAnimal.com and Catherine Henstridge from PetStreet.co.uk, the social networking site for pet owners, are championing greater cooperation between the pet industry, animal welfare groups, pet owners and importantly the public to combat animal abandonment in England and Wales which increased by 57 per cent in 2009. Animal welfare organisations, including the RSPCA and Dogs Trust, believe people are blaming the credit crunch for abandoning their animals. Some people are facing eviction or moving into cheaper or rented accommodation where pets aren’t welcome. Pets are then being forced to fend for themselves. In a recent Petstreet.co.uk video interview, David Grant, Director of the RSPCA’s non-profit Sir Harold Harmsworth Memorial Veterinary Hospital said, “We’re getting to crisis stages. We’re running out of cages. A lot of people get a dog, and they should not have one. I doubt whether they can look after themselves. They certainly can’t look after animals and it’s the animals that suffer. We are a third world country when it comes to the cruelty associated with dogs. It’s not a civilised country. The area around here is awash with staffie crossed dogs. They’re being got on a whim by people who don’t understand anything about responsible dog ownership, We’re seeing a lot of cruelty associated with that, and we’re seeing a lot of abandonment. One of the things at some time will need to be looked at is some form of dog registration.” Andrew Bucher from MedicAnimal.com said, “We are working closer with charities and our commercial partners to combat this trend of casting out cats, dogs and other pets. Summer is typically a time when animal abandonment traditionally spikes, so time is of the essence to get prepared for what might be unusually high levels. It’s good to see PetStreet.co.uk running a forum about responsible, cost-conscious pet care ideas. They’re also encouraging pet owners to share pet care responsibilities with other pet lovers during difficult times. Dogs Trust are also offering great information to people that may have to move house due to the credit crunch with letswithpets.org.uk.” Catherine Henstridge from PetStreet.co.uk said, “The pet care sector must prepare for levels of abandonment to soar in response to the economic downturn. We need to educate and offer solutions to cash-strapped owners. Companies can contribute to animal welfare organisations, make every effort to keep pet care affordable and offer advice and support on their websites.” The Harmsworth Hospital is working with MedicAnimal.com to lower the price of prescription products to its clients, particularly for the more costly ongoing treatments. Mr Grant said, “Our work with MedicAnimal.com is helping to solve this problem for the Harmsworth’s clients. They can buy speciality foods at significantly lower prices and have them delivered directly to their home for free. The ease and affordability with which these products can be obtained makes it far more likely for pet owners to continue an ongoing treatment. MedicAnimal.com works with vets and contributes five per cent of its profits to charities, so it sits well with the RSPCA.” MedicAnimal.com and PetStreet.co.uk are suggesting the following tips to animal owners to manage the cost of their animal healthcare.
27th May, 2009 00h00
- Ensure vaccinations are up-to-date. The cost of prevention is much cheaper than the cost of curing an animal.
- Responsible owners budget for pet insurance. Claiming on insurance is invariably a cheaper alternative than paying for treatment of an uninsured animal.
- Neuter pets to prevent unwanted pregnancies. You will avoid having more than one animal to care for and the associated vet bills.
- Shop around. You don’t have to buy prescription products from your vet, you can shop online. Moreover, specialist pet food stores might actually offer cheaper alternatives than supermarkets. MedicAnimal.com offers prices that are on average 40% cheaper than vets or high street retailers.
- Go for products with a longer shelf life to reduce waste and buy pet food in bulk. Large bags are cheaper in the long run.
- Pet owners should try to share pet care responsibilities. They can “pet sit” for each other and if they have similar pets, they should consider sharing pet supplies with friends.
- Pet foods brands vary in price significantly. Be aware that trying to save money with cheap food can cause health and behaviour issues with your animal. Good value food balances quality with price.
- When it’s not an emergency, shop around for vets and ask them how they charge. There are vast variations, and some allow bills to be paid over time.
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