The Scottish SPCA raises the alarm over animal welfare concerns

The Scottish SPCA has expressed concerns regarding the animal welfare of pets belonging to Gen Z owners, following the publication of its new report.

The annual ‘Animal Kindness Index report’, which was produced in collaboration with the RSPCA and the USPCA, found that young pet owners were cutting corners to save money when it came to caring for their fluffy companions. 

However, out of the 4,000 adults who participated, nearly half (45%) felt their money-saving tactics had negatively impacted their pets’ welfare. 

From cutting down on pet food purchases to cancelling vet appointments, the data showed that pet owners ages 18 to 24 had made some sort of change to reduce spending. 

On the other hand, only 28% of pet owners aged 55 or over said their animal(s) had suffered as a result of trying to save money. 

Scotland stands out as the most affected area, as 88% of Scottish pet owners report that the cost of caring for their animals has increased. This figure surpasses the 75% reported by pet owners residing in London.

Scottish SPCA CEO Kirsteen Campbell said: “It might be tempting to look at these figures on the surface and write them off as a younger generation who are not interested in, or knowledgeable about, animal welfare. But the data in the report paints a much more complex picture.

“Is it any wonder that young people don’t feel able to engage with animal welfare when they are struggling to protect their own welfare and that of their animals in a cost-of-living crisis?”.

To help support pet owners, the Scottish SPCA has launched ‘Pet Aid’ – a service which offers everything from advice, to food banks for pet food. 

Basic veterinary care will also be offered as a part of the service in the near future. 

“We’ll continue to do all we can in communities across Scotland to safeguard the next generation because Scotland’s children and animals deserve better,” adds Campbell. 

How can I get involved as a veterinary professional? 

  • Donate items to Pet Aid here
  • Gift a virtual Pet Aid box 
  • Spread the word to clients – there is a confidential animal hotline open for any pet owners who need advice 03000 999 999
  • Educate prospective pet owners on the costs associated with caring for an animal

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