Pandemic and rising living costs leads to dog welfare crisis
All Dogs Matter warns the pandemic and rising cost of living has led to a dog welfare crisis
Charity sees sharp increase in dog intake and vet bills since 2021
Founder urges public to consider reality of dog ownership
A London-based dog rescue and rehoming charity fears the UK is now in a dog welfare crisis caused by a rise in pet ownership rates colliding with cost-of-living pressures.
All Dogs Matter has taken in nearly 300 dogs so far this year, a staggering 75% increase since the same time last year. With its dog intake increasing, the charity has also seen a 40% rise in vets bills since 2021. Across the UK, many other centres are already full and others close to capacity, as rehoming slows down, dog abandonment rises, and more people are looking to give up their pets.
Ira Moss, General Manager and Founder of All Dogs Matter, said: “We have been inundated with calls and emails from people desperate for our help to rehome their dogs, many bought in lockdown and now suffering from medical or behavioural issues. It’s reached a point where we are having to turn dogs away as we’re at full capacity, a situation we never want to be in.
“Sadly, we’ve also seen a huge drop in applications for our rescue dogs which has severely reduced our capacity to help more dogs. Alongside our rapidly rising vets bills it’s a perfect storm.”
Recent research by the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) shows that demand for rescue dogs has declined in the past year while the number of dogs being abandoned is higher in 2022 than 2021 and 2020. Coupled with this, over three million UK households bought a pet during the pandemic (Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, 2022).
70% of ADCH member rescues surveyed, report an influx of dogs with behavioural issues. This is in line with studies indicating that inexperienced dog owners are giving up dogs they acquired during lockdown and are now unable to care for, due to a variety of factors. Anecdotal evidence from our members also suggests that there are similar reasons for the relinquishments of cats.
Halita Obineche, Executive Director of ADCH, said: “There was a huge surge in people getting pets in lockdown and we are dealing with the fallout. Inexperienced owners unable to manage pets with behavioural issues caused by poor training and a lack of socialisation; workers returning to the office; and now the rising cost of living, all combining to create a national animal welfare crisis.
“Our members emerged from lockdown struggling with a lack of funds and a dearth of experienced staff. They are overburdened – both in terms of space and the emotional toll of dealing with an epidemic of dog abandonment.”
Ira Moss continues: “We urge people to think carefully about getting a dog. It can be a 15 year+ commitment that takes time, money and dedication. Getting a dog is just the start of ownership.”
To help with All Dogs Matter’s rising vets’ bills and to make a donation visit:
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Laura Hedges – email@example.com / 0208 341 3196
Notes to Editors
About All Dogs Matter
· All Dogs Matter is a dog rescue and rehoming charity working in and around London to transform the lives of unwanted and abandoned dogs. We also rehome dogs in need from overseas.
For more information visit: alldogsmatter.co.uk
About the Association of Dog and Cat Homes
- The Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) is the umbrella group and leading representative charity for dog and cat rescue and rehoming organisations across the UK and ROI.
- ADCH promotes best practice in animal welfare for dogs and cats. Members encompass charities of all sizes, from the smallest to the largest, plus some Individual members, so the number of people involved measures many thousands.
- ADCH was founded in 1985 with the purpose of developing good practice in the rescue and rehoming of dogs and cats.
- ADCH hosts for the UK’s largest animal welfare Annual Conference, welcoming 500 delegates a day over two days.
- Visit www.adch.org.uk for further information.
- ADCH Registered charity no: 1180574
- ADCH Contact Details: Chief Executive, Halita Obineche (firstname.lastname@example.org; Therese Davall, Member & Administration Manager (email@example.com)