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Charities fear a 'flood' of abandoned dogs from lockdown

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Dogs Trust and DSPCA worried owners will abandon dogs

Dogs Trust and DSPCA worried owners will abandon dogs

PA

Dogs Trust and DSPCA worried owners will abandon dogs

Animal protection workers fear a flood of dogs will be abandoned in the autumn after people bought pets during lockdown.

The DSPCA and Dogs Trust have warned they expect the usual increase in dogs being abandoned before Christmas each year to turn into a surge this September, as animals are surrendered.

Dogs Trust said it has already taken in a number of surrendered dogs, but both charities are warning anyone who's already regretting buying a dog during lockdown to contact them now for support and advice.

"We are expecting this to happen in October or November," Gillian Bird, of the DSPCA, said.

"We tried to warn people in lockdown. A huge amount of people got dogs and there's now a shortage of dogs.

"The price of dogs has gone through the roof. A Jack Russell was €80 before lockdown. Now people are being asked for €700 or €800 for the dogs.

Farms

"And dogs were sold differently during lockdown too, online and I suspect some would have come from puppy farms.

"People would not have realised but the dogs might not have even had health checks and vaccinations."

Both charities are concerned new owners may be totally unaware some dogs might not be immunised and thus this could lead to the spread of life-threatening viruses to the animal.

"If people feel they made a mistake buying a dog, come to us to solve the problems before it's a major issue," Ms Bird said.

"If they feel they can no longer care for the animal it's time to find a home for the dog, while they're young and still trainable and desirable.

"I understand people bought dogs because they were at home and they had kids at home but as we see kids going back to school and their parents going back to work, I fear there will be a huge increase in unwanted dogs."

Dogs Trust reported they've had some puppies already surrendered to the charity. One puppy was found abandoned in Dublin city centre recently.

Designer

Another dog was handed over to the charity after its new owners found out they'd paid €1,300 for a designer puppy which turned out to be a two-year-old dog.

"The new owners surrendered him to us," Corina Fitzsimons, from the Dogs Trust, said.

"A foster home has now adopted him. Some puppies have been bought in haste.

"We ask people to remember a dog is for life, not just for lockdown."