Puppies as young as four months old are being rehomed.
Following a massive surge in interest over lockdown for puppies – which forced prices to skyrocket to as much as £3000 last summer – hundreds of puppies are now being abandoned as a result of owners struggling to care for them. Adverts seen on websites such as Pets4you and Preloved have seen owners admit to not having enough time or money to care for their new pets, therefore looking to sell them on to recuperate their costs.
And not only have owners been looking to sell their dogs privately, but they’ve also been turning to national charities to take in their puppies – with The Dog’s Trust seeing no less than 1,800 calls in the last three months from owners looking to re-home their animals, The Sunday Times has reported. Between December 27 and December 28 alone, the charity received 114 calls about giving up dogs, with 19 of those being puppies under nine-months-old.
Adam Clowes, operations director for The Dog’s Trust, has said of the issue: “All that initial lockdown excitement – ‘We are never going to have to go into the office again, let’s get a dog!’ – we are now seeing the consequence of that,”. Clowes went on to express how important it was for potential dog owners to remember that the reality of getting a puppy is a ten to fifteen-year commitment.
The RSCPA has also expressed their concerns on the issue, admitting that they expect there are more pets to come who’ll need re-homing. The charity has said: “We were worried that many families who found themselves at home with time on their hands during lockdown would make impulse decisions to take on pets – and now, just a few months on, would be seeking to rehome their new dogs after realising how much commitment they are, having run into financial difficulties due to the pandemic, or because they’ve returned to work and no longer have time for them.”
A number of adverts on Pets4Homes express that the decision to sell was at “no fault” of the dogs, with others stating that they cannot give the puppies the attention they need and that their jobs are to blame for the sale.
The Dog’s Trust suggests that ‘impulse buying’ is to blame for the large number of puppies being abandoned – demonstrating just how important it is to thoroughly research not only the breed of dog, but also the responsibilities and costs included in being a dog owner. And on the topic of research, The Kennel Club says that one in four owners did less than two hours research before purchasing a puppy, “leaving them particularly vulnerable to scams and unable to spot the signs of an unscrupulous breeder” – an issue which became prevalent in 2020 as puppy farms surged due to the increased demand in puppies.
For tips on how to purchase a puppy responsibility, The Dog’s Trust has a great guide about what to look out for and how to prepare yourself for your new family member.