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Owners’ guilt could lead to abandoned animals

BRITAIN’S pet charity, The Blue Cross, has revealed that some pet owners would feel too guilty to go to experts for help if they could no longer look after their pet.

Seventy-four per cent of people questioned by the charity said that they would rather rehome their pet through friends or family than hand it over to a charity like The Blue Cross, with 77 per cent saying they would feel guilty and 23 per cent embarrassed that they could no longer cope. Almost a third felt that they would be judged.

The Blue Cross fears that these feelings could be the cause of animals being abandoned near its 11 adoption centres and three animal hospitals. The charity wants to reassure pet owners that they will be welcomed, and not judged by staff if they take the responsible decision of handing their pet to an animal adoption centre.

Steven Broomfield, regional manager at The Blue Cross said: “We would like to put an end to cats being left in boxes in car parks and dogs being left tied up to fences, by letting people know that if they can no longer cope with their pet, they will be welcomed at our adoption centres. At The Blue Cross we view owners that bring their pets to us as responsible, and we value their input into the process of rehoming their pet. If a centre has space available, any pets will be welcome”.

Dudley the cat was just one of the animals abandoned by owners last year. His previous owners broke into and left him inside a Blue Cross van parked outside one of the charity’s small animal adoption centres during a bank holiday weekend. Fortunately for him, Blue Cross staff returned to the van over the weekend and discovered Dudley. He was in a very poor condition and dangerously dehydrated as temperatures had soared over the weekend. Dudley was rushed to The Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria, London, where he spent a long time recovering. Happily, Dudley pulled through and now has a new home.
Today, the charity promotes the unique relationship between pets and their people, and provides support through its

• animal hospitals - including the first of its kind in the world

• rehoming centres for pets and horses

• outreach services - including an ambulance service, community veterinary nurses and a mobile clinic service

• free pet bereavement support service

• network of trained animal behaviour advisers

• free pet care information service

To find out about The Blue Cross small animal adoption centres visit www.bluecross.org.uk

For advice on looking after your pet visit www.allaboutpets.co.uk