Battersea are urging dog owners needing to give up their pets to consider bringing them into rescue.
The charity, which has centres in London, Kent, and Berkshire, is keen to support owners who may now be struggling with dogs or puppies brought during the pandemic.
Many owners saw lockdown as an ideal opportunity to welcome a new puppy into their family. However, they may now be finding that they are unable to provide the required care needed for their new family members and are unsure of where to turn to for support, fearing that rescue centres are over-run.
Nine-week-old Mongrel Stanley (pictured above) was bought into Battersea after his owners found his separation anxiety too much to cope with.
As a young puppy, Stanley was cared for by one of Battersea’s dedicated foster carers, where he was able to get vital socialisation whilst Battersea matched him with new owners. Had his owner not bought him to a rescue centre like Battersea, Stanley’s future may have been very different, but he is now in a loving new home where he is developing into a healthy and well-rounded adult dog thanks to the care and advice provided by the charity.
Rob Young, Head of Centre Operations at Battersea, said: “Our advice for anyone who is no longer able to care for their dog is to get in touch. Battersea has been here for every dog and cat for over 160 years, and we continue to be here for owners that may find themselves in a position where they are unable to care for their much-loved pets. We currently have lots of prospective owners registered with us who are looking to give a second chance to a rescue dog. This means that we’re able to find the ideal home for puppies like Stanley, whether they need a bit more training and guidance, a busy, active home to keep them occupied, or calmer, quieter surroundings to build their confidence.”
Battersea also found new homes recently for four-month-old Beagle Trixie and three-month-old Chihuahua cross Kiwi after both of their owners struggled to cope with the responsibilities of training and caring for a puppy.
Similarly to Stanley, both Trixie and Kiwi were placed in foster homes before finding their new families after less than a week in Battersea’s care.
Rob continues: “We would remind anyone considering getting a new pet to do their research before welcoming a puppy into their home; while they may look very cute, puppies require a lot of work and attention. Thankfully, we are yet to see an influx of puppies coming into Battersea since the start of lockdown. However, we want to encourage anyone needing to give up their animal to bring them into a rescue centre – we will never judge anyone for needing to give up a pet and you can ensure that you’re giving them the best chance at finding a happy new home and best quality care.”
Battersea have also been supporting new dog owners throughout lockdown with their online puppy training classes. Led by Battersea’s expert canine behaviour team, the classes teach owners how to put building blocks in place to help puppies and adolescent dogs grow into confident adult dogs, ready for when lockdown ends and life returns to normality.
If you’re struggling to care for your dog or cat and are considering rehoming them, or looking for training advice and information, you can find out more information at www.battersea.org.uk.