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Key findings

We have high expectations of ourselves when it comes to protecting animal welfare, and we want governments to take greater responsibility too. 

We want to be kinder to animals. But it’s not always easy and there’s often a gap between what we say we want to do and what we actually do.

We want to be kind to animals

There's no doubt that we want to be kind to animals and there's strong public support for animal welfare.

69% of Brits are animal lovers
9 out of 10 said animal welfare is an important issue to address
8 out pf 10 people have taken some action to help animals in the last 12 months

But the cost-of-living crisis is affecting how we care for animals

We are struggling to look after our pets in the way we want. Rising costs contribute to our struggle.

81% say it's more expensive to look after their pets
38% pet owners have changed their behaviour because of financial pressures in the last year
53% of Gen Z pet owners have changed their behaviour because of their financial pressures

As a result animals are suffering

As budgets tighten, DIY solutions for pet care are growing and financial pressure may also be contributing to rising abandonment and neglect.

45,000 searches for 'Can I give my dog paracetamol' in April 2023
11% increase in abandonment of animals in 2023
40,000 clicks on the RSPCA 'Giving up a pet' page in May to March 2023

And there's a gap between what people say and what people do

What we say we believe and feel about animal welfare isn’t always reflected in our behaviour. Google search data reveals that there are thousands of searches every month for both dog costumes and dog breeds with genetic health problems.

59% deem it unacceptable to dress in animal clothes for fashion or fun rather than warmth
84 percent consider it unacceptable to breed animals with genetic health problems but there are 22,000 searches a month on Google for French bulldogs

We take responsibility, but also expect Governments to

We have high expectations of ourselves when it comes to animal welfare - 78% of people believe individuals are responsible for animal welfare. But the overwhelming majority think the government could and should do more.

83% feel that animal welfare should be protected by government legislation

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Your local SPCA

The Animal Kindness Index 2023 was produced together with Scottish SPCA and Ulster SPCA. Find out more about your local SPCA.