‘Pandemic puppies’ could lead to more abandoned pets, warns Sheffield animal charity
New research by insurance company petGuard has shown that the “puppy boom” caused a crisis in animal shelters across the country due to the high demand for kittens and puppies during the pandemic.
According to the Pets4Homes shelter, at the height of the puppy boom in May 2020, seven million pet owners were looking for a four-legged friend.
According to the Association of Pet Food Manufacturers, around 3.2 million households have taken in a new pet since the pandemic began, leading to a 23 percent increase in pet ownership over the past year.
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“Pandemic puppies” could lead to more abandoned pets, warns the Sheffield animal welfare organization
Meanwhile, the Dogs Trust reported a 50 percent increase in the number of pet owners calling for their dogs to be surrendered between May and July 2020.
This means the long-lasting effects of the pandemic could expose up to 25,000 dogs over the next five years, according to the Battersea Covid Research Project.
And that prospect has caused concern among animal rescuers as the RSPCA urges the public to always consider their financial consequences and if their circumstances should change before owning a pet.
Dr. Samantha Gaines, the RSPCA’s Pet Director, said, “Many pets have found their perfect forever homes over the past few months – and that’s something to celebrate.
“Unfortunately, abandoned animals are always something that frontline RSPCA officials have always dealt with in significant numbers – and we fear the combination of an increase in spontaneous pet ownership during the pandemic and the change in human circumstances is something of normal. “Continues to return, and the economic impact of the pandemic could all be a” perfect storm “for further estates.
“Given the varying degrees of coronavirus restrictions and the unrealized full economic impact of the pandemic, it is still very early to draw conclusions about the impending impact on animal welfare and especially the abandonment of pets.
“However, we remain on high alert for a possible increase in the task and we continue to urge anyone struggling with the reality of pet ownership to seek help. Research is so important before adding a dog or other pet to the family. Owning pets can be so rewarding – but it’s also a big, long-term commitment.
“The RSPCA would urge everyone to consider the financial consequences – even if their circumstances should change – and to remember that the Covid restrictions will not last forever; As such, it is important to be sure that you can meet your pet’s needs if, hopefully, things will return to normal soon.
“There is a lot to consider – and there is a wealth of information for potential pet owners on the RSPCA website.
“If a new pet is right for you and the animal, a rescue companion is an amazing, rewarding choice; and we encourage anyone interested to check out our pet search database on our website.
“If families still prefer to buy a puppy, we encourage them to take advantage of the puppy contract. This is a free online tool that will help you find responsible breeders and a happy, healthy dog. “