Increasing numbers of people are abandoning pets bought on impulse after discovering the amount of time, money and effort needed to care for them, Pets4Homes has revealed.
According to RSPCA figures, at least 100 pets are dumped by their owners every day.
Pets4Homes found that increasingly popular exotic pets, such as meerkats, are being hit hardest by abandonments, as buyers find out that they do not have the patience or expertise required to care for their animals.
“Some people don’t realise that pets are living, breathing creatures and not just another disposable consumer product. Pets are dumped the year round, but it’s especially bad in the months following Christmas,” said Mark Singleton of Pets4Homes.
“Unthinking owners just aren’t getting the message.”
Singleton suggested that anyone thinking of getting a pet should first have a trial run.
“What we’re saying is that if you’re thinking of getting an animal, try borrowing one from a friend for a few days. Look after somebody’s dog or cat while they’re on holiday, or try to borrow one from friends or family for a few days.
“After a very short while, you’ll soon discover the level of commitment and care you’ll need to put into the relationship with a pet. And if it doesn’t work out for you, there’s no real damage done.”