RSPCA fears ‘lockdown puppies’ could add to welfare crisis as 381 dog incidents reported in Warwickshire this year - The Rugby Observer

RSPCA fears ‘lockdown puppies’ could add to welfare crisis as 381 dog incidents reported in Warwickshire this year

AN ANIMAL charity fears the ‘lockdown puppy’ craze could add to a growing crisis at animal rescue centres, as it emerged that over 380 reports about dogs’ welfare in Warwickshire have been made to its emergency hotline this year.

The RSPCA is championing rescue dogs during ‘Adoptober’ as it revealed searches for puppies increased sixfold during lockdown.

The charity fears the coming recession and the impact of ‘lockdown puppies’ will hit already-struggling rescue centres hard in coming months, as it revealed its officers in the county had dealt with 381 incidents about dogs this year.

And RSPCA experts say an impending dog welfare crisis could be on the horizon in 2021 as families return to normal life and may no longer be able to take care of the puppy they bought during lockdown.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said families should do lots of research and ensure they can commit long-term to a dog before bringing one home – and urged them to consider the benefits of rescuing instead of buying a puppy.

He said: “We have seen a rise in people searching for dogs to adopt during lockdown, which is fantastic, but at the same time, there appears to be a rise in people looking to buy puppies.

“We know that there are not enough puppies bred in the UK to meet the demands of those who want to buy them and, worryingly, there appears to be a surge in puppies coming in from outside the UK.

“The problem with this is that, although breeders from countries like Romania are licensed, we have no way of checking the conditions those animals are being kept in and we fear that sales like these could be fuelling cruel puppy farms as well as exposing puppies to long and stressful journeys.

“We are all used to being able to buy whatever we want when we want it but we’re urging people to thoroughly do their research before committing to getting any dog and to make sure they don’t get caught out by people acting illegally or irresponsibly.

“We have lots of dogs waiting for their forever homes so please do consider getting a rescue dog. Although it is really tempting to buy a puppy, those from abroad may have been bred in poor conditions, leaving them with potentially serious medical and behavioural problems whereas adopting from somewhere like the RSPCA where staff have really got to know the dog, means you get the advice and support you need.

“If families would still prefer to buy a dog, we’re encouraging them to use The Puppy Contract. This is a free online tool that will help find responsible breeders and a happy, healthy dog.”

Throughout October, the RSPCA is championing animals in its care which need a new home, and promoting the benefits of adopting a rescue animal through its Adoptober campaign. Visit to offer a rescue dog a new home, or to donate.


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