AN animal charity has admitted it is having to turn people away as record numbers of pets are given up or even abandoned – innocent victims of austerity Britain.

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A stark warning issued by the RSPCA nationally described animal welfare charities as being stretched to breaking point as they are overwhelmed with animals.

The RSPCA alone reports a 65 per cent increase in animal abandonment over the last five years.

Clare Williamson, deputy manager at Felixstowe’s Blue Cross animal rescue, admits that as the recession bites families are getting rid of their pets.

She said: “We have definitely seen an increase of pets coming into the centre.

“People need to rehome their pets, but there just isn’t enough space. We are having to turn people away and put them on the waiting list.

“People are having to give up certain luxury things and animals are one of the first things to go.

“We never get people who come in wanting to give up their pets. They have done a lot of soul-searching.

“The animals are a part of their families and no-one wants to give them up unless they need to. They aren’t doing it on a whim – they’ve tried everything else.

Meanwhile, the RSPCA has taken in 73 animals that were abandoned in Suffolk so far this year.

A RSPCA spokesperson said: “People might think they are doing the right thing, leaving their pets where they think they will be found, or feel they have no other option.

“But owners have a legal responsibility to seek help for their animal.

“And if this means making a bit of effort to find a good new home, or just waiting a few days until someone can take the animal in, this is what they must do.”

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