40 percent increase in the number of pets being abandoned in Ireland

Read more: Up 20,000 horses become orphans of Ireland’s boom time - SEE VIDEO

A number of charities in Ireland have reported a huge increase in abandoned pets since Christmas and the early part of the New Year. The recession is thought to be the main reason why so many people are abandoning their pets. Many pets are also being put to sleep due to their owner's inability to afford medical treatment. Eight percent of vets surveyed confirmed that an owner has declined treatment due to the costs involved.

The cost of insurance cover has come down and owners can now take out a basic policy for the cost of less than a year's mobile phone insurance. Many owners that do not choose to take insurance are left with the distressing choice of having to put their pet to sleep due to being unable to afford medical treatment.

"High medical costs involved in treating your pet especially if it is a lengthy illness with costs regularly coming in over €1,000, it is surprising that more people have not sought cover in case anything goes wrong," says Ciaran Mulligan, Joint Managing Director Petinsurance.ie. "One out of every four families in Ireland is a cat or dog owner.”

Read more: Up 20,000 horses become orphans of Ireland’s boom time - SEE VIDEO