COVID-19 has affected everyone and Neil from Wallington Animal Rescue in Southeast London, fears that they will see a whopping 50% increase in animal abandonment over the next 6-8 months.  Neil is begging would be pet purchasers to think a minimum of THREE TIMES before getting a pet.  “No matter what your circumstances are, no matter how tough things are, no matter how much you are locked down” Neil is adamant that people really need to weigh up the pros and cons of owning a pet not just now, but more importantly, in the future. 

 We are only beginning to see the full wrath of this pandemic, explains Neil and that through the loneliness of lockdown, a pet purchasing frenzy resulted in a 400% increase in pet purchase prices. The average pup used to cost £500 and is now an eye watering £2000 plus.  The problem according to Neil, is not the cost of purchasing pets but what owners will do with their pets “when kids return to school and owners have to return to work.”   What Neil asks us to understand is that pets are not “a try before you buy”, they are a responsibility with implications on our daily lives for up to 20 years. 

Lockdown is a false reality right now and might lead to people buying a pet on the whim.  WAR says, “if you decide you are ready for the responsibility of a pet, please adopt, don’t shop.”  Rescue animals come with a support network that bought pets do not come with, so if your circumstances do change in the future, you know your pet will be in safe hands.

According to Neil, Fundraising was fun before the pandemic, with WAR attending local events but now fundraising is so much more difficult.   Unable to hold fundraising events and promote their Shelter within the local community because of the pandemic, means that WAR must rely solely on their online community and direct debits for financial support.  With 9 snakes and various cats and dogs to take care of and feed at the centre, and with vet bills totalling £1500 every month,  animal rescue centres like WAR, are struggling financially and need our support.

For anyone interested in rescuing a pet, Neil has said WAR is still doing home checks and rehoming animals.  Neil and his wife, Amanda have been running the registered charity since 2015 and rescued and rehomed many pets.  They have an active online community on Facebook and are passionate about animal rights and animal welfare.

“Taking on a pet is a long-term commitment and should never be done on a whim”, implores Neil.  Wherever possible, always consider a rescue pet, because when you rescue a pet you might not be changing the world and stopping animal abandonment or cruelty, but you are changing the world for that animal.

To support Wallington Animal Rescue, you can donate through Paypal here or contact them here.