Bar­low’s Brief MAC­CLES­FIELD Show some love to an aban­doned pet, if you can af­ford it

Macclesfield Express - - MP IN TALKS OVER CARE HOME FUTURE -

‘SHOW­some love and adopt a pet for Christ­mas’.

Ac­cord­ing to the RSPCA, all lo­cal an­i­mal sanc­tu­ar­ies are ‘fac­ing the worst ever cri­sis’ as record num­bers of aban­doned pets ar­rive on their doorstep.

Res­cue cen­tres across the county are swamped with un­wanted an­i­mals as peo­ple strug­gle to meet the ris­ing cost of own­er­ship.

The RSPCA blames the eco­nomic down­turn for the prob­lem.

When wages are frozen for such a long pe­riod, some­thing has to give.

We al­ready know that de­mand on food banks has dou­bled in the past two years.

If fam­i­lies can’t feed them­selves how can they feed their pets?

Speak­ing as some­one with enough an­i­mals to start a zoo, I know how ex­pen­sive own­ing pets can be, but food is not the ma­jor cost.

The pet food mar­ket is ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive, with brands con­stantly slash­ing prices to gain mar­ket share.

In my ex­pe­ri­ence it is vets bills that scare own­ers most and while prices may vary there sim­ply isn’t enough com­pe­ti­tion to make a fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence to the over­all cost.

The ex­pense of an op­er­a­tion for a dog or cat is sim­ply too much for most fam­i­lies to bear, which­ever vet they use.

I’ve spent hun­dreds on my dog Murphy’s var­i­ous health prob­lems this year, but what do peo­ple do who just don’t have the money?

A pay­ment plan won’t help if you have noth­ing to pay with.

When money is tight sac­ri­fices have to be made and if child wel­fare clashes with pet wel­fare there is only one choice.

How about those of us who can af­ford it adopt­ing an ad­di­tional pet?

We re­cently ac­quired a black and white cat named Car­son.

He’s a real de­light and loves hang­ing out with the dogs.

Car­son makes us laugh ev­ery day. I’ve sent enough money to Africa over the years to raise an en­tire herd of buf­falo . Di­vert­ing a small amount to care for a home­less cat won’t hurt and I’ll know where ev­ery penny went.

If you can af­ford it why not show a lit­tle love for those aban­doned pets and give one a safe, warm home for Christ­mas?

●● He­lena Brails­ford, RSPCA trustee

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