Charities

Dogs Trust sees 41% increase in ‘Give Up Your Dog’ web traffic

The charity released a snippet of phone calls made to Dogs Trust’s helpline from members of the public which highlighted the ‘anguish’ felt by owners who have had to give up their pet during the pandemic

Dogs Trust has revealed that between August 2020 and January 2021, the charity saw a 41% increase in web traffic to its ‘Giving Up Your Dog’ page compared with the six-month period beforehand.

The charity released a snippet of real phone calls made to its helpline from members of the public, which highlighted the “anguish” felt by owners who have had to give up their pet during the pandemic.

In one call, a lady expressed her “pain” of having to give up her dog having lost her job and home. Other callers cited the “burden” of increased working hours, firm closures, house evictions and financial struggles as reasons for rehoming their pets.

The charity said it is encouraging people to “change the tale” for dogs affected by the pandemic, and to seek advice if they feel they can no longer care for their pet.

The organisation currently provides a range of services to help keep dogs and their owners together, such as support for dog owners without a home and a fostering service for dog owners experiencing domestic abuse.

Additionally, the Dogs Trust Dog School also provides online videos to help dog owners tackle behaviours they are seeing as a result of lockdown that could eventually result in dogs having to be given up, such as separation anxiety.

Owen Sharp, chief executive of Dogs Trust, said: “When people take on the responsibilities of dog ownership, they do so with the best intentions to care for them long-term.

“It is heart-breaking to hear someone having to choose between a roof over their head, or their dog and we’d like to thank the people who made these calls for allowing us to share their story and for coming to us in their time of need.”

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