Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton has visited St. Francis Animal Welfare near Eastleigh and heard from staff and volunteers about the plight of animals given as presents.
The centre, which looks after dogs, cats, birds and many other animals, rehomes 130 cats and 70 dogs on average per year and often has to take in extra residents following the Christmas period. These animals can be too much for their owners or be given to people who don't treat them correctly leaving St Francis's to step in.
During the visit, Mike donated boxes of used printer cartridges and stamps, which St. Francis’s then exchanges for funds used to support its charity work.
Mike said: "Christmas is time of giving and rejoicing for people of all walks of life, but it's important to remember the responsibilities that some gifts come with.
"I know from experience with my adopted rescue cat that pets take a phenomenal amount of effort, time and money to take care of that many people just don’t consider.
"I'm thankful for all of the work that staff and volunteers at St. Francis's put in to keep their animals healthy and happy ready to be rehomed. The centre provides amazing help to animals that might otherwise be left in terrible conditions or put down."
Helen Kerris Shaw, the Centre’s Manager, said: “Animals are never a good idea for a present, especially at Christmas time which is stressful both for the animal and the owners.
"We’re experiencing high call volume and are expecting many more animals to be bought in from Christmas Day onwards. New owners don’t do the research needed in to what breeds make good pets or the hard work that goes in to caring for them."
St Francis Animal Welfare is a registered charity (no: 263172) based at Sunnyside Cottage, Mortimer's Lane, Eastleigh in Hampshire. They care for and rehome numerous animals and receive no government funding at all. They rely on donations and fundraising as well as the efforts of volunteers - and are always on the look out for more helpers!
They have space for up to 11 dogs and 30 cats at any one time and currently have 58 cats and 32 dogs waiting to come in. You can visit their site at: http://www.stfrancisanimalwelfare.co.uk/