A Carlisle animal charity have said they are ‘eternally grateful’ for their supporters after demand ‘significantly increased’ in 2023.

Oak Tree Animals’ Charity provides a safe place for cats, dogs and equines in their time of need as well as supports pets and their owners throughout the local community.

Through their rehoming and community programmes the charity helped a total of 4,471 animals in 2023: 2,351 dogs, 1,760 cats, 68 equines and 292 other animals.

News and Star: Affogato the Kitten Affogato the Kitten (Image: Oak Tree Animals' Chairity)Oak Tree enjoyed a successful year despite facing increasing bills and demand.

During the cost-of-living crisis over the last 18 months, pet abandonments have risen sharply as families struggle to cope with the sharp rise in bills.

“2023 has been a particularly rough year for so many individuals, charities and businesses, meaning demand for our services has significantly increased,” said Oak Tree’s general manager, Caroline Johnson.

“We have also seen huge increases in running costs, particularly our veterinary bills which are up by 20-40%.

“While this news is saddening, we are eternally grateful to all our supporters who have donated, fundraised, volunteered, fostered, adopted, and helped us in any way this last year. Oak Tree Animals’ Charity would simply not survive without their generosity.

News and Star: Oak Tree look after a variety of animalsOak Tree look after a variety of animals (Image: Oak Tree Animals' Chairity)“We are hoping that 2024 will be another successful year and allow us to reach even more animals and their owners who need our help.”

The charity has already had a busy year in raising more than £3,400 for a cockerpoo’s hip dysplasia surgery and finding a home for long-term resident dog, Dougie.

“We are very pleased to say that Dougie is doing well in his new home, and he has made himself right at home,” said Oak Tree’s small animal team leader, Gina Antonacci.

“As a long-term dog with some special requirements, his adoption process was a bit more complicated and needed time to give it the best chance at success.

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“We are incredibly grateful to his adopters for all their hard work and time spent to ensure Dougie would thrive in his new home.

News and Star: Dougie enjoying his new homeDougie enjoying his new home (Image: Oak Tree Animals' Chairity)“He will certainly be missed by the small animal team, but we couldn’t be happier that he has finally got a home to call his own.”

Anybody looking to adopt a new pet is urged to visit Oak Tree’s website or call 01228560082.