AN ANIMAL shelter covering Andover and Basingstoke has said that more animals are in their care than ever, partly due to the cost-of-living crisis.

The RSPCA Basingstoke and Andover branch is experiencing an unprecedented volume of people handing their pets in or reaching out for help due to the cost of looking after an animal.

Volunteer Sarah Biro said the extortionate rise in costs for vet bills and animal food means that people are giving up their animals to the RSPCA as they can’t afford to care for them.

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Nearly 10 per cent of pet owners delayed taking their animal to the vet when they were ill due to the cost, statistics from the PDSA have revealed.

Sarah said: “We’re struggling, the cost-of-living crisis means fewer people are donating however more people are calling out for help than ever before, but it’s a strain financially."

RSPCA Basingstoke and Andover is independent meaning it doesn’t receive funding from the main branch of the national charity.

Sarah says the branch used to receive funding through its Basingstoke shop, which was forced to close in 2021 due to falling footfall and anti-social behaviour.

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“It’s a knock-on effect, we need the shop for the income, but we can’t afford the shop," she added.

Sarah has volunteered with the Basingstoke and Andover branch of the charity for 16 years, providing vital support and a foster home to animals in the area.

The branch is run by a committee of volunteers and relies on public donations and fundraising to support its animal welfare activities.

These include animal re-homing, provision of limited financial assistance and the promotion of responsible pet ownership through emergency neutering and microchipping campaigns.

For more information on RSPCA Basingstoke and Andover and how you can help, go to