Worries about pets being abandoned continue as third lockdown comes to an end

  • RSPCA fears abandonment of pets will only increase as third lockdown comes to end
  • Animal shelters in Manchester and around the UK are struggling to cope with sharp decrease in fundraising
  • Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is calling for government to do more

Pet adoptions have gone up in Manchester and around the UK due to people working from home or being furloughed, with internet searches for “buy a puppy” quadrupling in the UK in March last year.

However, almost a year after the first lockdown, animal shelters are seeing people bring in older puppies after being unable to care for them.

Battersea Dogs and Cats home says that Rolo – pictured below – is one of the hundreds of such casualties of the pandemic.

covid-19, animal shelter, abandoned
Rolo                                                                               Image: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

In August last year, the Kennel Club found that one in four Brits bought a pet to help them through the pandemic but now realise they do not have the time or resources to look after them.

More than 1,800 people called the Dogs Trust over the months of December to February wanting to give up their dogs.

Adam Clowes, operations director for the Dogs’ Trust, says the  consequences of the “initial lockdown excitement” are now being seen.

The RSPCA says it it is deeply “concerned” with the number of dogs being resold and that it is preparing for more animals to be abandoned.

Listings online of puppies being resold have increased, confirming fears of animal welfare charities who have warned of a rise in “pandemic puppies” being abandoned.

Animal shelters have been struggling through the pandemic due to fundraising being halted, which is their main source of income.

The lockdowns have resulted in fewer volunteers and donations, making it harder to care for animals.

The threat of closure for many rescue centres as well as the increase in abandonment of lockdown pets has left animal shelters in an extremely difficult position.

The Dog’s Trust says that up to 40,000 stray and abandoned dogs could need help due to the impact of Covid-19.

Battersea is calling for the Government to do more to help struggling rescue centres and the animals they care for across the UK.