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Pets latest victims of economic crisis

Pets are suffering because of the economic downturn, a survey has revealed, with thousands of owners unable to support them.

Half a million owners have been reduced to feeding their pets household leftovers and one in five say they are dropping essentials such as visits to the vet in a bid to bring costs down.

According to the study released today by animal welfare charity the Blue Cross, pets from broken homes are the hardest hit as a result of financial pressures, with newly separated couples spending almost £2 a week less on their pets than couples together. The charity has also found a 19 per cent increase in stray and abandoned animals taken into its centres in the last year, with a total of 979 cats, and 419 dogs left to wander the streets.