Norfolk base for dog charity see numbers “creeping up” amid fears thousands of dogs could be abandoned
PUBLISHED: 07:25 11 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:09 11 September 2020
The Norfolk base for a UK leading dog charity is seeing a rise in the number of dogs being put up for adoption amid fears that tens of thousands could be abandoned as a result of the pandemic.
Paige Pope, supporter relations officer at Dogs Trust Snetterton, said that, despite the home not being completely reopened to the public, the number of dogs being brought in is “creeping up”.
There is now a fear that a spike in dogs will carry onto Christmas when they are at their busiest, which Snetterton might not be able to cope with.
“We are concerned with this spike, as well as Christmas coming, we are going to be overrun with people wanting to give up their dog,” she said.
The Dogs Trust says the biggest cause of adoption is behavioural issues.
The charity surveyed over 6,000 dog owners in May about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on their dog.
26pc of the owners say their dog showed at least one new behavioural problem during the lockdown.
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Mrs Pope said that the trust fears that dogs will develop separation anxiety as things go back to normal, particularly in puppies who have never experienced being left at home alone during the lockdown.
They predict that up to 40,000 dogs nationally could be at risk of abandonment as a result.
Mrs Pope said that “prevention is better than curing” for the dogs.
She recommends a number of things owners can do to help support their dog.
“We recommend that for dogs to be happy, you should plan their day out,” Mrs Pope said.
“Give them their own space, and praise them for this. Give them praise when they settle in their own space.
“Make sure the dogs have a comfortable bed, something fun to keep them busy, like a puzzle toy, or a long-lasting treat.
“When they are enjoying that, you move away very briefly when they are settled, and build this over time.”
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