Rising rescue crisis thanks to lockdown puppy boom

lost and homeless jack russell dog with cardboard hanging around neck, abandoned at the street, wa

There are now countless adverts across the country advertising dogs - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

One doesn’t need the foresight of Bulgaria’s legendary mystic Baba Vanga to have predicted what was going to happen.

Last year’s lockdown saw an extraordinary demand for puppies; they became the number one ‘accessory’ to get people through a traumatic and lonely time. 

However, many canine commentators watched the soaring demand and escalating puppy prices with dismay, for we knew exactly what would unfold six months to a year down the line. 

Sadly, we were right. 

There are now countless adverts across the country advertising dogs bought at this time usually accompanied by 'we just don’t have the time' or 'change of circumstances regrettably force this sale'.

Yes, I get it, things are uncertain for millions of us and I’m sure that some of these heart-breaking ads are genuine; circumstances can indeed change but I would be willing to bet the vast majority have just got bored - dogs aren’t exempt from our wasteful throwaway society.

The thing is, puppies don’t remain fluffy, cute, sleepy bundles for very long; they grow up, they chew things and they begin to make demands on your time.

Close up portrait of smiling Asian woman hugging dog sitting on bed in warm sunlight, copy space

Free help and advice from canine experts has never been so easy to access - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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In many ways bringing up a puppy is like bringing up a child - both need lots of love and discipline.

I was staggered to overhear the following snippet of conversation between two ladies a few weeks before Christmas.

“They paid over £2,000 for that pup and it doesn’t do a thing he’s told. He’s still dirty and is running wild... you’d expect more when you’re paying that sort of money.”

People need to realise there is no correlation between paying out vast sums and finding a breeder who has done their job correctly, and when it comes to basics like socialisation and housetraining that is YOUR job.

It doesn’t just happen!

Now, as I have written before, socialisation is difficult during these times but with perseverance it can still be done, we are fortunate to have our beaches and green spaces to get our babies used to the outside world, people and other dogs.

Free help and advice from canine experts has never been so easy to access – having a dog is hard work but the rewards are incalculable.

As well as my monthly column in Edition Dog, the magazine is packed full of advice and tips.