Charity DOG Rescue has warned of an animal welfare crisis, after seeing a rise in pet owners claiming their dogs are strays so they can abandon them.
Hope Rescue – which takes in stray dogs from Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and parts of the Vale of Glamorgan – has issued an urgent warning to the Welsh and UK governments as the cost of living crisis continues.
A sharp increase in dog ownership during the pandemic, coupled with the cost of living crisis, is leading more and more people to choose to give up their pets because they can no longer care for them. properly, the charity said.
Hope Rescue has seen an increase in adoption applications thanks to the lockdown, but this has since returned to normal levels, but the number of strays, abandoned and unwanted dogs has increased.
Vanessa Waddon, Founder of Hope Rescue, said: “Many rescues across Wales are reporting the same issues and simply cannot keep up with the demand.
“What concerns us most is the fact that we can literally see a system that is already bowing under the constant pressure of abandoned dogs – with owners often lying and claiming they are strays – and an increase significant responsible but desperate owners who implore us to take their dogs as surrenders on a daily basis.
“That’s before we even consider the huge increase in the number of dogs we foster that have been seized from illegal, low-welfare breeders who have profited from the surge in demand.”
The charity recently took in more than 100 puppies and dogs after two local authorities seized them from breeders on welfare grounds.
And last month, Hope Rescue received more than 70 calls from people asking to return their dogs, and often dogs.
Sara Rosser, Welfare and Adoption Manager, said: ‘It’s so sad to hear owners pleading with us to take their dogs in because they can’t care for them for real anymore. reasons.
“We do our best to work through our waiting list, but often there is nothing we can do as we are already at capacity with abandoned, stray and seized dogs.
“We know we see a number of fake strays being given to us because, quite simply, neighbors and friends tell us they recognize strays that we post on our social media pages or that they tell us. send dog announcements. put on sale the day before.
“It’s a very difficult and sad time for a lot of people that we fear.”
Hope Rescue continues to urge dog owners to seek help and advice from their local rescue center rather than abandoning their dogs.
The charity said where possible it would do all it could to help owners and their dogs, regardless of the dog’s age, breed or medical condition.
If you are having difficulty with your dog and the costs are mounting, there are several ways you can seek help.
There are a number of pet food banks operating across Wales including the Pet Food Bank Service in Cardiff which covers most of South Wales. Blue Cross in Newport and PDSA in Cardiff can help with certain veterinary bills in certain circumstances, depending on the qualification criteria.