Dogs being abandoned to make way for puppies
In December last year, we published a blog post called "A Puppy Is Not Just For Christmas". We wrote about the things to consider when bringing a puppy into your home as a family Christmas present. The post was written in anticipation of a high number of abandoned puppies over Christmas, but this year we were saddened to learn that the problem stems much deeper.
Recently, we have seen loads of local and national news articles from shelters crying out for help as they try to accomodate for the expected high number of abandoned animals. Not only have puppies been abandoned on the streets of towns across the UK, the increased number of puppies being given as presents at Christmas has led to high numbers of older family dogs being abandoned. We were shocked when reading an online news story by Nerve Media that an average of three pets were being abandoned every hour over the Christmas period.
The article goes on to say that "In the UK the number of dogs abandoned is estimated to be as high as 130,000 a year, which has hit an eleven year high. Approximately one adoptable, healthy dog or puppy every hour, (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) is put to death in the UK due to not finding a home."
There is a massive price difference between the cost of rehoming a dog vs. buying a puppy, which can cost upwards of £2000. The process involved in taking a new dog home between a charity and breeder is sadly just as large. Charities will not only ask you to fill out a number of forms and ask for proof of pet insurance, they may actually go as far as requesting a home visit to show that you have the right type of environment for your chosen pet. When buying your pet from a breeder, the process can be much more straight forward, exchanging money for your puppy before leaving and figuring out the rest for yourself. Where most breeders are actually complete professionals, providing KC paperwork, proof of worming, etc, there doesn't seem to be enough in place to ensure this is done for everyone.
The toughest question we are faced with, as animal lovers, is what can we do to solve this problem? Charities up and down the country are pleading for help for donations, foster homes and families looking to welcome in a new pet who might be willing to take a homeless dog in to a forever home over the temptation of a new puppy. We support this and actively promote charities on our Twitter feed, but we feel that the best method is education and understanding. The more we work together with charities, animal rights groups, the media and the government the more we can hope for change in the Animal Welfare Act in England and Wales, and the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act. This is a time for our key charities and organisations to be supported so that Christmas 2016 and beyond can start to see reductions in these worrying statistics.
If you would like to offer support to a charity or organisation we recommend that you visit their website directly. We have direct links to "Our Friends" at the bottom of our website. Alternatively, all Petsensedirect customers can turn their loyalty points, collected from every purchase, on food for dogs, cats and horses in local shelters across the UK. For more information on our loyalty program, click here. If you are a shelter that is struggling with an increased number of animals then we would love to support you. Click here to become a charity partner.