The Blue Cross has warned MPs that there are too many pets in the UK and not enough good homes for them all.
Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Labour party conference this week, Blue Cross director of external affairs Steve Goody stated that a growing number of animals are being treated as throwaway items rather than cherished members of the family.
The charity flagged up the rising number of abandoned and unwanted pets in the UK and the increase of unregulated online pet advertising as key concerns.
Shadow minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Huw Irranca-Davies also called for dog law reform and the need for owners to appreciate the expense of keeping pets over their entire lifetime.
It was widely reported earlier this year that the release of the final Harry Potter film and the craze for the series subsequently tailing off resulted in hundreds of pet owls being abandoned across the UK.