A DEDICATED pet rehoming network in Northwich has warned it is being ‘hammered’ by the cost-of-living crisis.

Tails Animal Rescue is a network of 20 pet foster parents and other volunteers who take in mostly cats, but also dogs and small furries, and help them find their forever homes.

The group say they're seeing more and more people forced to give up their beloved four-legged friends as they can no longer afford to feed and care for them, as the cost-of-living crisis drags on.  

Tails founder member and lead volunteer, John Ashworth, who is currently fostering nine cats and seven kitten, says he and his colleagues - called 'companions' - are now stretched well beyond their usual capacity.

Northwich Guardian: Izzy is looking for hor her forever homeIzzy is looking for hor her forever home (Image: Tails Animal Rescue)

What's more, with the price of pet food increasing along with human food, the group is facing the doubly whammy of more animals to care for, at a higher cost.  

John said: “We’ve taken on 17 new kittens this week, and we’ve two more older cats come to us only today, one with a broken jaw. We’re getting murdered.

“It’s unbelievable. We’ve had dogs tied up outside and everything.

"We don't publicise our locations as a means of avoiding this, but people are getting desperate. 

Northwich Guardian: The group has taken on 17 new kittens this week aloneThe group has taken on 17 new kittens this week alone (Image: Tails Animal Rescue)

“We’re only a small group, and we're getting hammered. We’re up to capacity, that's for definite.

“The vets are very good to us, but here’s only so much they can do. They have to make a living.”

John says the situation makes their ongoing fundraising work more important than ever.

Northwich Guardian: Tails annual Fun Dog Show at the Leigh Arms, Acton Bridge, has a 'best rescue dog' category, and 'best four-legged fancy dress'Tails annual Fun Dog Show at the Leigh Arms, Acton Bridge, has a 'best rescue dog' category, and 'best four-legged fancy dress' (Image: Tails Animal Rescue)

As well as collection through Pets at Home in Northwich and a regular Wednesday night prize bingo at Davenham Royal British Legion, Tails also runs an popular annual Fun Dog Show, which this year is on Saturday, September 16, at the Leigh Arms pub in Acton Bridge.

The 71-year-old added: “It’s just a total fun day. Nothing serious at all.

"We’ve done it for about 7 years now, and it’s a real money spinner for us. To be honest, we just couldn’t get by without it.

"We try and make it as enjoyable as possible, and everyone who comes loves it. Even the rain doesn’t put people off.

Northwich Guardian: This one's not for eatingThis one's not for eating (Image: Tails Animal Rescue)

"Some can get really competitive though. We’ve had to change the rules of the dog and owner egg and spoon race.

"One year we had a five-year-old with a little puppy competing against a 23-year-old with a German Shepherd. It just wasn’t fair.

"We do age categories now."