An animal charity has revealed that it is having to provide pet food to an increasing number of pregnant dogs and their puppies once they are born.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home told petproductmarketing.co.uk that 32 puppies had been born in its care so far this year, compared to just six over the same period last year.
Laura Jenkins, head of animal services at the charity, explained that many owners wrongly believe that neutering is cruel.
She told the news provider: "It actually has significant health benefits including reducing the risk of womb infection and tumours in both cats and dogs.
"We believe that the number of unwanted animals coming through the home's doors would be significantly reduced if more people took the responsible decision to neuter their pets."
As a result, Battersea is advising owners to neuter their pets in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
This news comes as the Kennel Club issued a statement reminding breeders about new litter limits, explaining that from 2012, the maximum number of litters it will register from one bitch is four.