Dog owners handing in unwanted lockdown pets as strays, shelters say


Animal rescue charities and shelters have seen a rise in folks disguising canine that they acquired throughout lockdown as strays after failing to promote them on-line.

Some individuals who have handed the canine into rescue centres purchased them on-line however weren’t informed the reality about their origins or medical points.

Pet owners who now not need their canine are utilizing web sites such as Gumtree or Pets4Homes in an try and recoup the price of buying the canine in the primary place.

Ira Moss, founding father of the charity All Dogs Matter, informed The Independent: “We have noticed in the last couple of weeks an increase in dogs coming in, and we believe that 90 per cent of the time people have been pressured to sell the dogs first rather than bring them into the charities.

“Dog wardens have been getting calls from vets who say a member of the public has said they found a stray, but often it’s by people who can’t be bothered to wait for rescue charities to help or are embarrassed about handing the dog in.

“When a dog warden takes a dog, they will scan a microchip and the person registered on the chip can claim the dog back. But sometimes you call them and they say they sold the dog some time back, or the number doesn’t work.”

Hope Rescue, an animal charity based mostly in Wales, informed the BBC that the variety of canine being handed into its rescue centre was the best in its 15-year historical past.

Sara Rosser, head of welfare at Hope Rescue Centre, mentioned the charity has seen “fake” stray canine “jumping the queue ahead of dogs that really are abandoned”.

During the coronavirus lockdown, figures confirmed that greater than 3.2 million pets have been purchased by UK households. But charities have beforehand warned that the variety of deserted canine would rise as folks went again to work and now not have as a lot time for them.

Ms Moss mentioned different causes for unwanted canine embody behavioural issues as a consequence of an absence of coaching, and being unable to maintain up with the monetary value of possession.

“People who are trying to sell the dogs they got during lockdown are doing so partly because the animals are so expensive. They can cost as much as a car at times,” she mentioned.

“A lot of people didn’t think about it properly when they first got their lockdown puppies, and now, some of these dogs are so dangerous they can’t even sell them because no one would be able to get near them. Some have had no socialisation at all.

“People also don’t want to, or can’t, pay for their vet care. Dogs have become a throwaway item and they tend to lose their value the older they get and the more they are moved around.”

Ms Moss additionally warned that some canine have been bought on-line a number of instances earlier than arriving at their door.

“Some of the dogs have probably been in two or three homes by the time they come to us,” she mentioned. “They are so confused and have separation anxiety. It’s so sad.

“We have only had a handful of people, out of all the puppies sold during lockdown, come straight to us and genuinely said, I’ve made a mistake and I can’t take care of this dog anymore, but I don’t want to sell it online because I don’t know where it will end up.”

Dogs bought on-line could also be purchased by unlawful breeders, recognized as backstreet breeders, or as bait canine for unlawful canine combating.

Ms Moss advises folks battling their canine to not put them on-line in an try and get a reimbursement.

“They are not just a car you’re selling online,” she mentioned.

Instead, converse to charities who will assist with rehoming, she mentioned, including: “A lot of people think they’re just going to go into a kennel, but they are better off going to a kennel with professionals for a week or so than being passed around homes. You just don’t know where they will end up if you sell them online.”

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