Are we still a nation of animal lovers? Leading pet charity Blue Cross warns that the number of unwanted pets has reached epidemic levels. Our Campaign of the Week, The Blue Cross Big Neutering Campaign, aims to make neutering the norm, to stamp out irresponsible breeding and raise awareness amongst millions of animal lovers of the huge benefits of neutering their pets. Preventing unwanted litters can save pets from a life that’s often short, unloved and full of misery.
Blue Cross is warning that the number of "disposable" kittens, puppies and pregnant pets has reached troubling levels. With its countrywide network of rehoming centres overwhelmed as numbers of pets being dumped and abandoned reach a record high, the charity is calling on owners to stop the needless suffering by supporting the Blue Cross Big Neutering Campaign.
In the last four years, the number of pets born at Blue Cross centres after their pregnant mothers were abandoned or given up has nearly doubled,* and the numbers homeless kittens and puppies rescued by Blue Cross has also rocketed.** Tragically many of these are like puppy, Waffle, who experienced a miserable, short life after being left wrapped up in newspaper with his young sisters and dumped like rubbish on a country lane. The other puppies survived thanks to Blue Cross, but sadly Waffle didn’t. It is a trend that Blue Cross wants to reverse.
Kim Hamilton, chief executive of Blue Cross, explains: "The tragedy is that somewhere along the line pets have become a throwaway commodity. For many, their pets are part of the family but there are simply too many pets and not enough of these good homes to go round. While charities like Blue Cross will always be there to give needy pets a healthy, happy future we must reverse this trend so pets are not disposed of like rubbish and neutering your pet is the norm."
Kim continues: "Owners can do their bit by supporting our campaign but we need government action to discourage irresponsible breeders who make it easy to get a pet on impulse and just as easy to discard. We are calling on decision makers to change laws so that everyone who owns more than one dog capable of breeding should be identified as a breeder and visible to authorities. Blue Cross believes that this would discourage casual breeders who are producing pups in an already saturated market."
The more pet owners can do to help, the more Blue Cross can do to help prevent the suffering. Blue Cross is one of the UK’s leading animal charities and has been dedicated to helping sick, injured and homeless pets since 1897. Today Blue Cross runs four animal hospitals and 12 rehoming centres across the UK, which provide treatment and seek happy homes for thousands of cats, dogs, small pets and horses every year. Blue Cross actively campaigns to improve all aspects of animal welfare, working with the government, schools and others to improve the lives of pets and their owners.
You can find out more about the Blue Cross Big Neutering Campaign or make a donation by visiting www.bluecross.org.uk/neuter. You can also support the campaign and spread the word by tweeting with the hashtag #disposablepets.
*Double number of animals born on site after pregnant pets given up (312 between July 2011and June 2012 and 161 from July 2007 to June 2008)
**41% increase in pets under four months old admitted to Blue Cross compared to four years ago (1991 from July 20 11 to Jun 2012 and 1403 between July 2007 and June 2008)