Pets placed above partners says survey

PUBLISHED: 15:54 27 September 2012 | UPDATED: 15:54 27 September 2012

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Archant

PET owners in the South West have gone into debt and even sacrificed holidays to keep their cherished animals, according to a rescue charity's survey.

West Country animal lovers are the most dedicated to their pets, according to a new survey by Somerset-based The National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT).

Pets are placed above partners, best friends and children for 17 per cent of pet owners who were asked to state their favourite companion, which is higher than the national average.

When asked if they ever had to make sacrifices to keep their treasured pets, more than half said yes with 19 per cent admitting they have gone into debt to pay for vet bills and other care costs.

Other lifestyle changes including giving up their holiday, was admitted by 31 per cent of owners, going for days out and buying clothes, by 17 per cent, and 14 per cent sacrificed going out for meals for their beloved animal.

Some 6 per cent of pet owners in the South West have even skipped a meal so that their pet can eat.

Anna Willitt, centre manager for the NAWT’s Somerset rescue centre in Langport, said: “Our survey shows people take their responsibilities so seriously for their pets that they are even prepared to get into debt to pay for their care.

“If you’re thinking of re-homing a pet then it’s worth bearing in mind all aspects of its care before you make the commitment. The good news is that those who do will be suitably rewarded with a great companion.”

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