Animal shelters fear huge influx of abandoned ‘lockdown puppies’ on its way

Lockdown is mostly behind us for now, but not too long ago we were all picking up indoor hobbies and exercising with Joe Wicks.

Zoom quizzes took off and it seemed like half the country discovered a love for pot plants in 2020.

But, while most lockdown trends were quick to come and just as fast to go, some have had more far reaching consequences.

One of the most disastrous trends of the pandemic has been lockdown puppies.

Yep, remember how everyone suddenly seemed to own a new cockapoo, spaniel, dachshund or Maltese?

With everyone working from home many Brits thought it was the perfect time to get a puppy when they could stay with them and train them while working.

However, some puppy parents discovered that they weren’t prepared for the reality of dog ownership and were unable to care for their pooch.

Plus, with the world getting back to normal many have now been made to return to the office – leaving their lockdown pups bewildered and confused.

And, unfortunately, animal shelters are worried that they will be overwhelmed by surrendered dogs and puppies.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines told the Metro: “There was a huge surge in demand for dogs during lockdown as families made the most of spending more time at home.

“What concerns us is what’s happening to these “lockdown puppies” now and what will happen to them over the coming months."

She continued: “We’re worried that while many families will have considered the long-term commitment of taking on a dog, some may not have been thinking post-lockdown about how they’ll care for their new pet when they return to work or how they’ll pay for them if they should be hit by the recession.

“We expect that we’ll see a major dog welfare crisis this year as huge numbers of dogs are relinquished to rescue centres, sold on online or even abandoned; with struggling charities forced to pick up the pieces.”

The RSPCA noted that they haven’t seen a big jump in dogs being surrendered yet, but they worry that many will be given up in the coming months.

Samantha added: “Many dogs who have got used to having their owners at home may struggle to adapt once furloughing ends and people begin to migrate back to the office.

“We know that one of the major reasons dogs are relinquished is due to behaviour problems and research suggests that separation related anxiety may affect 85% of dogs.”

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Many dogs are given up when they reach the tricky adolescent stage which lockdown pups are just growing into.

DogsTrust also reported an uptick in how many dogs they were taking in and worry a wave of young pooches is on its way.

A spokesperson said: “While we are starting to see an increase in dogs coming into our care, we are yet to see the full impact of dogs purchased or acquired during the pandemic being handed in to us.

“However, we believe the worst is yet to come.”

Samantha advised prospective dog owners to do their research and think carefully before getting a dog.

She noted that buying a dog online on a whim was a recipe for disaster and if you are serious about getting a pooch then try and adopt.

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