AN animal rescue centre is facing a tough 2013 as it deals with a rising number of unwanted pets and falling donations.
Michael Banks, secretary and trustee of Ponderosa Rescue Kennels and Cattery, in Allerton Bywater, said the number of dogs and cats being given up by their owners was at an all-time high.
He said: “It’s been a very bad year with the financial situation in the coutnry, and there’s been loads and loads of animals who have lost their homes and ended up here and similar places.
“In fact, it’s been one of the worst years I have ever seen, without a shadow of a doubt. I’ve never seen anything like it in the 40 years we’ve been here.”
Mr Banks said one of the biggest problems for pet owners was either losing or having to sell their homes, forcing them to move into rented accommodation, where they can’t keep their animals.
He added: “We’re finding it harder to rehome the animals, too. People are holding back, waiting to see what happens, so adoptions are well down, and so are donations – something like 45 per cent – so we are struggling, as our expenses increase.
“Quite a few of the smaller animal charities have had to close. Unless things pick up, we don’t know what we’ll do.”
Ponderosa, on Ninevah Lane, is currently full with dogs and cats available for adoption, and it has seen animals being given up rise during the Christmas period.
Mr Banks said: “Every Christmas there are always more animals losing their homes than at any other time. We don’t really know why, but there’s a definite increase at Christmas.”
Anyone who would like to support the charity can make a donation by either sending a cheque to Ponderosa Rescue Kennels and Cattery, Ninevah Lane, Allerton Bywater, Castleford, WF10 2EW, or calling the centre on 01977 552303 or 516713.