MP speaks out over big rise in unwanted pets

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NORTHIAM MP Greg Barker paid a visit to the Blue Cross re-homing centre in the village on Friday to see first hand the issues facing the pet charity.

His visit coincided with rising figures for unwanted cats and dogs in Sussex.

The Northiam centre took in 62 percent more cats and dogs than the previous year and the number of those animals that were stray or abandoned doubled during the same period.

The growing number of homeless and abandoned pets over the last few years has meant that the charity has had to find innovative new ways to help as many animals as possible, as centre manager Maria Marmo explained.

She said: “As numbers of unwanted pets sadly continues to rise, Blue Cross has started to explore new ways to help even more animals. Because we only have space for a certain number of cats and dogs here at the centre, finding volunteer fosterers locally and rehoming animals through our new Home Direct scheme have both been really important ways of allowing us to find happy new homes for even more pets.”

Mr Barker said: “The Blue Cross Centre in Northiam does a terrific job in looking after unwanted pets. It is such a terrible shame when pets are abandoned or their owners can no longer look after them and it is a worry that these numbers are growing.

“I would encourage local animal lovers to seriously consider volunteering with the Blue Cross to foster cats or dogs on a short-term basis. As a dog owner myself, I know how rewarding looking after a pet can be.”

Maria Marmo said: “Blue Cross Home Direct is ideal for people who have to give up their pet, but are able to keep them at home until a suitable new owner is found. Just like the animals that come into our centres, pets rehomed through the Home Direct are assessed by expert Blue Cross staff, then appear on the rehoming pages of the Blue Cross website alongside all the animals at centres looking for homes.