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Updated: 7th January 2019 00:29

Neglect of sick pets on rise, officials say

There has been a sharp rise in the number of sick pets being abandoned or neglected by owners who can't afford to look after them, officials say.

More animals being allowed to suffer by owners who can't pay for medical care

There has been a sharp rise in the number of sick pets being abandoned or neglected by owners who can’t afford to look after them, officials say.

Calgary Humane Society officials say they are seeing an increase in the number of sick animals being neglected. (CBC)The Calgary Humane Society has seen 75 per cent more cases of medical neglect in the last four years, said animal protection and investigations officer Brad Nichols.

"The recession back in 2008, that's when we started seeing a rise in these types of cases, where people simply couldn't afford to treat their animals," he said.

Nichols said 80 per cent of the charges laid last year were a result of those neglect cases.

"When there's prolonged or severe suffering that's involved that isn't addressed, that's where you're going to see prosecutions."

People should be aware of the costs associated with owning a pet, he said.

"I think a lot of people buy animals impulsively and don't think about the costs down the road that doesn't make those people bad or evil but when it gets to a point where the animal has suffered there's a legal aspect to it too," he said.

It costs about $1,000 per year to care for an average, healthy dog, while a cat or a rabbit costs about $500, he said.

And owners should also have a couple thousand dollars set aside in case of emergencies, Nichols added.

 

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