Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare in Ringmer are experiencing an animal welfare crisis.
A rise in pet ownership rates paired with the pressure from cost of living increases, has seen a rise in animals looking for new homes.
Since January, Raystede have seen 2,500 requests which is around 50% more than the previous year. It's proving difficult to rehome many of the animals for a variety of reasons. Demand for rescue dogs has declined in the past year while the number of dogs being given up is higher in 2022 than the previous two years.
Rescue centres have seen an influx of dogs with behavioural issues. Studies have indicated that inexperienced dog owners are giving up dogs acquired during lockdown that they're now unable to care for, due to a variety of factors, such as a lack of opportunities for training and socialisation.
Raystede’s cattery is currently full and the charity is urgently calling for more foster carers to look after cats – and indeed other animals with specific needs - in their own homes until new homes can be found.
Matt Gough, Head of Animal Welfare at Raystede, says, "We are staring straight into an animal welfare crisis. It's a crisis that affects all the species in our care, which is a very unusual and unprecedented situation to be in.
Raystede is struggling to cope with the numbers of animals coming in to the centre for rehoming. The charity understands that people are naturally worried about the cost of living and the Rehoming Team always advises people to make sure they can fully commit to rehoming an animal, financially as well as practically and emotionally.
However, there must be people out there who can help Raystede rehome these animals who desperately need loving homes, and the charity would urge people to consider a rescue pet.
Whether considering fostering or rehoming, experience is always welcome, especially with dogs. However, Raystede is committed to finding the best match for an animal and is looking for people who are open to and understanding of the needs of these special dogs, willing to continue the training Raystede has started (with ongoing support from the charity) and able to provide a secure home, with a garden, and have the needs of a pet in their hearts."