Animal shelters across the UK have voiced concern as people purchase more pets during COVID-19 lockdowns.
A spokesperson from the Blue Cross said: “We are concerned that some people may have rushed and bought pets online without taking into consideration the commitment, so we’d urge people looking to take on a pet to definitely do their research and think about the commitment they are making.”
According to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, owning a dog could cost you anywhere between £4,500 – £13,000 over the span of their lifetime and this is excluding any potential vet bills.
The Blue Cross told Buzz that whilst they understand the current economic situation is unstable: “if people are struggling and need to find a new home for their pet, we’d urge them to contact a rescue charity like Blue Cross for help and support with this”.
Fears of a post lockdown recession could see animal shelters flooded with dogs and puppies, as those who have spent more time working from home than before the lockdown are now worried about how their pets will cope when restrictions are lifted.
Dog welfare expert for the RSPCA, Dr Samantha Gaines told Buzz: “We expect that we’ll see a major dog welfare crisis this year as huge numbers of dogs are relinquished to rescue centres, sold on online or even abandoned; with struggling charities forced to pick up the pieces.
“Sadly, we know that as animals are so readily and easily available to buy online, it can be very easy for people to buy a new pet on a whim and that often means that, within a few months, they quickly realise they cannot cope with them and seek to give them up or sell them on.”
New dog owner Ben Wiggins said it was “exciting” and “something to look forward to” after having spent months researching and weighing up his options to see if he could afford one.
Ben said: “a dog is for life, not just an impulse buy. You have to look after it and be patient as they are essentially just like babies”.
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