Dog owners in Berkshire can no longer afford their pets because of the cost-of-living crisis, local charities have said.

The Chronicle has been conducting research into the current pressure on dog kennels and has found that many dog rescues in Berkshire are struggling.

Connie Cuff, 85, the owner of Pine Ridge Sanctuary, Ascot told The Chronicle how difficult it is to rehome dogs at the moment due to the rising cost of vet bills.

She said: “I know one lady who was quoted £1,500 to fix her chihuahua’s tooth. It’s become ridiculous, people are being ripped off.”

“This is the reason why dogs are being passed on or dumped,” she continued. “The vets need to be more compassionate, if it wasn’t for dog owners they would be out of business.”

Reading Chronicle: Rescue dogs at Forget Me Not RescueRescue dogs at Forget Me Not Rescue (Image: Serena Swanston)

When asked how rehoming is going at Pine Ridge, Connie Cuff told The Chronicle that it has completely dried up over the last three months.

She also mentioned that she and her team had received calls from XL Bully owners asking for their dogs to be rehomed, but she didn’t want to put the staff and other animals at risk.

The Chronicle also spoke with The Labrador Lifeline Trust administrator Anne Carter who told us that there is an enormous amount of pressure on kennels at the moment.

“We are at over capacity. There are not enough kennels for all the dogs that are being given up,” she said. “We are all under so much pressure, it’s never been as bad as this.”

Anne Carter explained that even though the rescue only rehomes Labradors, they are having to turn dogs away because they don’t have the space for them.

Numerous websites list the Labrador as the UK’s most desirable dog breed. “Years ago, if you had a lab puppy people would bite off your hand for it,” Anne Carter explained.

“But because of the cost-of-living crisis money is tight, and vet bills are expensive. At the moment, I just can’t rehome them.”

The Chronicle also spoke with Ms Serena Swanston, owner of Forget Me Not Rescue, Reading, who echoed the above views.

She said: “Adoption of dogs has fallen in the UK because of cost pressures.

“The cost-of-living crisis, the XL Bully ban, and rising vet fees are all putting pressure on dog owners.”

She continued: “I know of several cases in the UK where dogs have been literally dumped.”

Ms Swanston suggested that rescuers need to get more creative with fundraising and look at ways to incorporate prevention into their rehoming policies.