Animal charity The Dogs Trust is urging the British public to think more carefully about adopting a dog during the UK lockdown. The warning comes as online searches for dogs and puppies have soared over the last month.
The Dogs Trust Salisbury is making a stark warning to the public and asking them to consider more realistically the hard work of owning a dog. The charity says that they are expecting a possible puppy crisis when the lockdown is over. That’s because there has been a 120% increase in the number of online searches for ‘get a puppy.’ The charity believes that people are thinking more about getting a dog during the current crisis simply because they want companionship in the home, or because they believe that they have more time available for training a new pet.
However, as with Christmas, the Dogs Trust believes that there will be a large number of those adopted dogs abandoned once the country returns to something resembling normal. Now, the charity has made changes to its famous slogan, ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.’ Instead, the images on their website say, ‘A dog is for life, not just for lockdown.’
Owen Sharp, the chief executive of the Dogs Trust, has said, “Like Christmas, when people are at home more, they might think now is the perfect time to get a dog.”
However, he is urging people that this is not the case. They are asking people to consider when the lockdown lifts how their life will need to change to accommodate their four-legged friend.
As a result of the growing demand for dogs during the lockdown, Mr Sharp has encouraged potential dog owners to carry out a new test to see if they are dog ready. He reminded would-be dog owners that they would have to be ready to be “chief pooper scooper” and that they might never get to enjoy a lie-in ever again. Mr Sharp said that “people needed to consider the more serious questions surrounding vet treatment and preparing for emergencies.” He believes that, of course, if there is still a dog-shaped space in your life, then it may be the right time for you, but you first need to assess this.
During the lockdown, many animal shelters are working with the bare minimum of staff and resources. The Dogs Trust has closed its rehoming centres to the general public, but they have continued looking for new homes for the dogs that are already in their care. They have also stressed that anybody needing urgent help to rehome their dog should get in contact as early as possible.
Celebrities and other charities have been quick to support the statements made by the Dogs Trust, with veteran TV show host Graham Norton claiming that his beloved pet has taken the boredom out of lockdown and that he has enjoyed spending even more time with him. The star fully supports Dogs Trust’s important message that ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Lockdown’.