Spike in dog owners putting pets up for adoption, The Dogs Trust reveals
More people in the UK are considering giving up their dogs for adoption since the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, according to new figures by The Dogs Trust.
The dog welfare charity said it has seen a 35 percent increase in calls from owners who wish to give up their dogs in the last few weeks, and said that people are re-considering owning pets after their circumstances have changed post-lockdown.
When people spent a significant time at home during the first lockdown last year, sales of pets in the UK soared, and the price of a puppy more than doubled – with dogs costing almost £1,900 on average, reports the BBC.
But now, following the Covid-19 measures being lifted in England on 19 July, The Dogs Trust said there has been a “significant spike” in pet owners considering adoption.
It said that the traffic to the “giving up your dog” pages of their official website had increased by more than 180 percent in July, in comparison to visits before the pandemic.
There was also an increase in traffic by 100 percent in July, compared to what it had seen six months earlier in February.
Owen Sharp, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Following the boom in pet ownership during the pandemic which saw millions of us delighting in the companionship of a dog, today’s figures have sadly come as no surprise to us.
“As owners’ circumstances change, puppies grow into boisterous ‘teenagers’ and the country unlocks, many owners are being forced to reconsider the place in their lives for their pet.”
The charity has described the situation as a “looming crisis”, and has said it expects to see an increase in the number of dogs it receives in the months to come.
At the start of the year, figures released by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association revealed a total of 3.2 million households in the UK had acquired a pet since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The statistics showed that young people were mainly responsible for this trend, which over half of new pet owners aged between 16 and 34.
There are now about 34 million pets in the UK, including 12 million dogs, the association said.
The RSPCA previously warned the boom in pet ownership could turn into a “crisis” for those animals once their owners returned to work after lockdown and could no longer give their pets so much attention.