Last year, a survey conducted by The Kennel Club found that the ongoing health crisis has led to a surge in puppy ownership.
In the survey, 40% said they bought a puppy because they wanted a companion, while two-thirds described their new pup as a ‘lifeline’ during the lockdown.
Unfortunately, as the realities of owning and looking after puppies have set in, many are sadly looking to rehome their pets.
The Times reported that many owners have turned to dog charities.
In the last three months, one dog charity named ‘The Dogs Trust’ has received more than 1,800 calls from people who are looking to rehome puppies that are less than one-year-old.
The charity stated that it received a total of 114 calls on December 27 and 28 alone, including for 19 puppies under nine months old.
Adam Clowes, the operations director for the charity said owners need to be aware that having a dog is a 10 to 15-year commitment.
“All that initial lockdown excitement, ‘we are never going to have to go into the office again, let’s get a dog!’ we are now seeing the consequence of that,’ Clowes said.
New ads have also appeared on sites such as Preloved and Pets4you, with many owners admitting they do not have the time or money to take care of the puppies.
“Unfortunately, due to work commitments now we are no longer able to give him the loving and care he requires and deserves,” one owner of a six-month-old collie-spaniel cross, posted.
“My beagle pup is now 20 weeks old. She is up to date with jabs etc and has paperwork to show. She is also microchipped. I bought this pup for myself and now find myself with different hours at work due to COVID,” another one posted.
According to the RSPCA, the rehoming of hundreds of puppies is a result of ‘impulse decisions’ made during the lockdown.
“We were worried that many families who found themselves at home with time on their hands during lockdown would make impulse decisions to take on pets and now, just a few months on, would be seeking to rehome their new dogs after realizing how much commitment they are, having run into financial difficulties due to the pandemic, or because they’ve returned to work and no longer have time for them,” a spokesperson has said.
Based on research finding from the Kennel Club, one in four owners did less than two hours’ research before buying a puppy, ‘leaving them particularly vulnerable to scams and unable to spot the signs of an unscrupulous breeder’.