Pets bought during lockdown are being resold or abandoned as owners struggle to cope with them, it has been warned. Rescue centers and pet websites have been inundated
Hundreds of “lockdown puppies” are being returned or resold after short-sighted owners struggle to cope only months after buying them, it has been warned.
Rescue centers and pet websites have been flooded with returned pups and adverts trying to sell them.
During the first lockdown, many adopted puppies but are now struggling to properly provide the time and care needed for the animals.
Sellers have flooded websites with adverts for young dogs aged between six and 12 months to try and move them on.
Many owners have been forced to admit they do not have time or money or desire to keep looking after their puppies.
When people began working from home last year demand for puppies surged and prices rocketed to as much as £3,000 for some breeds.
But now, charities have been inundated with calls to help rehome animals.
Dogs Trust has received calls from over 1,800 people over the past three months, wanting to hand over dogs younger than one-year-old.
They received 114 calls on December 27 and 28 alone, including for 19 puppies under nine months old.
Others have taken to online reselling sites to move their pets along.
Sites like Pets4you and Preloved are seeing dozens of new adverts as owners try to sell their pets.
Two Pomeranian Chihuahua puppies are being sold from Haringey, London after the owner “does not have the time they deserve”.
The owner selling a seven-month-old springer spaniel explained that the £2,000 dog “needs more than we can offer her”, according to the Sunday Times, whose investigation exposed the issue.
In Buckinghamshire, an owner selling a six-month-old collie-spaniel cross said: “Unfortunately, due to work commitments now we are no longer able to give him the loving and care he requires and deserves.”
Research by the Kennel Club says that one in five owners who bought a puppy during the pandemic had not considered the long-term responsibilities looking after a pet brings.
It also found that a quarter of new owners admitted impulse buying their puppy in the first months of the pandemic.
The RSPCA was “really concerned” that so many dogs were being returned and resold and the organization was “bracing itself” for animals to be abandoned.
The charity added: “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 realizing 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.”
Adam Clowes, the operations director for the Dogs Trust stressed the importance of owners knowing that a dog was a ten to 15-year commitment.
He said: “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.”
RSPCA inspector Mike Beamen has come across examples of dogs who have been abandoned during the pandemic.
Scooby, a Jack Russel terrier cross Corgi, was found in an alleyway in Surrey on 13th December.
Mr. Beaman said: “A member of the public had found the little tan and white dog tied up to a lamp post down an alleyway when he was walking his own dog at around 2 pm.
“When he passed again, around five hours later, the little dog was still there, wearing a harness and attached with a metal chain.
“It was raining, cold and the poor little dog was shivering so he untied him and took him home before calling us.”
Thankfully, Scooby is now at the RSPCA’s Millbrook Animal centre.
Here he’s being assessed before being placed for adoption.
Hector, an American bulldog, is another abandoned dog now being cared for by the RSPCA.
He was abandoned outside the Wakefield & District RSPCA branch in West Yorkshire.
The one-year-old initially only knew German but has since learned English and is now looking for a non-smoking owner as there’s evidence to suggest he was burned in the past and the smell of smoke distresses him.