The reality of unwanted lockdown puppies
Despite multiple media reports about an anticipated influx of puppies entering rescue centres during lockdown, this sadly hasn’t been our experience. Although many puppies are indeed looking for new homes after being bought impulsively online, or as new owners struggle to cope with the reality of dog ownership and the commitment, time and cost this entails, they are rarely coming into shelters. Instead they are being resold online, often multiple times, to recoup money that was spent purchasing them. This worrying trend means that often puppies and dogs with medical or behavioural problems are passed on to unsuspecting new owners who in turn resell these dogs on compounding their issue, or they are at risk of being exploited, including breeding and in some cases dogfighting, or simply falling into the wrong hands. As a rescue charity we are often left to pick up the pieces, funding life saving treatment and care for dogs caught in this destructive cycle.
Getting a dog can be a 15 year+ commitment that requires significant thought and planning and shouldn’t be considered as a lockdown hobby. As well as making sure that you have the time, finances and commitment to taking on a dog, there is the question of where your new puppy is coming from. Prices for puppies in lockdown have skyrocketed which is fueling the cruel puppy mill trade, with unscrupulous breeders selling desirable breeds for up to three times their prices before lockdown with no regard for their welfare. Prue came to us a few days ago after being used for breeding and we encourage anyone thinking about getting a puppy to also think about the welfare of the mother of their dog.
The best way to get a dog responsibly, and to ensure that your dog has had the appropriate health checks and that you have expert back up, is to do this through a registered rescue centre and adopt and not shop online. We appreciate that there are fewer dogs in rescue shelters as demand outstrips supply, and this is a trend we are seeing in own shelter, however it is critical that the welfare of these animals is put first.
If you have a puppy or a dog that you need to rehome we urge you to hand them over to a rescue centre where they can have the appropriate health checks and be expertly matched with a suitable new home. Please don’t rehome your dogs online. #thinkrescuefirst
In this video our amazing patron and animal hero Ricky Gervais shares why you should give your unwanted pups to rescue centres and not sell them online