RESCUE centres caring for abandoned, abused or neglected animals are being stretched to breaking point.
Facilities across the Fylde coast have reported increasing numbers of animals being taken to them, many suffering horrific injuries or ailments.
Facing a sharp drop in donations as charities’ running costs increase, staff are now issuing a stark warning – the RSPCA has said it fears it will soon have to turn vulnerable animals away.
The RSPCA alone reports a 65 per cent increase to around 40,000 animals abandoned over the past five years at the same time as an eight per cent increase in centre running costs. Martyn Tetchener, branch manager of RSPCA’s Longview animal centre, in Division Lane, Marton, said: “Money is getting tighter, couple that with abandonment of animals and a lot of strays plus a lot of requests for veterinary assistance, and we have concerns.”
Mandy Leigh, owner of Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary in Queensway Park Farm, St Annes, said it is stretched beyond its means and having to put dogs in boarding kennels to cope with demand.
She added: “Every year it’s getting worse. We usually have 30 cats but we’ve 50 at the moment.”
To prove the worth of facilities such as Easterleigh, staff recently found homes for two of the five cats found abandoned near its site in August suffering injuries consistent with torture.
The facilities have said most reasons for the increase in animals brought to them come down to the current financial conditions.
Mrs Leigh said: “A lot of people just can’t afford them now.
“We’ve a lot of animals waiting to come in but we haven’t got a lot of people wanting to take them.”
They admit it is not as easy to bring in cash when people are having to tighten the purse strings.
Mrs Leigh added: “We all need money, it’s as simple as that.”
For the RSPCA the financial predicament was further highlighted when thieves targeted its charity shop in a raid last month, taking £554 of donations.
Both centres are appealing for animals lovers to adopt a rescue pet but insist their stringent procedures around people taking them will not waver despite the urgent need to rehome many animals.
Both the RSPCA’s shop in Talbot Road, Blackpool, and Easterleigh’s shops in Lytham Road, Blackpool and Victoria Road, Cleveleys, are accepting donations.