Editorial

It’s National Unwanted Pets Week

Over 44 percent of people don’t seek advice before choosing a pet. Wood Green, the Animals Charity, released the results of its pet owner survey to coincide with an awareness campaign. National Unwanted Pets Week takes place from May 25th to 31st, following the organisation’s fears that naivety around pet ownership is leading to abandoned and unwanted pets.

It’s not the first time organisations have called for more education for would-be pet owners. Last year, 67 percent of rescue centres saw a rise in the number of abandoned dogs. The research, which was carried out by DogsBlog.com and The Co-operative Insurance, found that 56 percent of rescue centres believed lack of education about dog ownership was the main reason for abandonment.

Of course, some pets can be inadvertently separated from their owners. The most recent Stray Dogs Survey by the Dogs Trust found that 50 percent of stray dogs were reunited with their families. Sadly, not every pet returned home. Around 7 percent were estimated to have been put to sleep.

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Preventing abandonment and finding new homes for pets is a cause championed by many within the industry. Rescue centres, retailers and veterinarians are just a few of the pet professionals providing leaflets and in-depth advice. Wood Green is attempting to combat the high number of abandoned animals, after having seen a 6 percent rise in stray dogs over the last six months alone.

Sally Stevens, Director of Communications for Wood Green said: ‘What I would urge anyone interested in pet ownership to do, is to please, please do your research first.

‘You wouldn’t purchase something like a smart phone without taking advice or seeking recommendation, so it seems incredible to me – and to the thousands of us which work in the animal charity sector – that potential pet owners would rely on blind faith alone and then be left surprised by the way their new animal fits into the home and lifestyle.’

For more information go to www.nupw.org.

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