Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is urging people who need to give up their pet to think rescue first.
Over recent weeks the charity has been giving advice to struggling pet owners through a dedicated behaviour advice line as it could only accept animals on an emergency basis.
Now the charity is able to take in unwanted dogs and cats again as lockdown eases and is encouraging those in need to get in touch.
Rob Young, Head of Centre Operations at Battersea, said: “We know there will be pet owners who are struggling, for whatever reason, to care for their dogs and cats, and we want them to know that we are here to help, whether it’s providing behaviour advice or finding a new loving home for their pet.
“Contacting a rescue centre is the most responsible decision if you can no longer care for a dog or cat. If you bring them to a rescue like Battersea, you know they’ll be cared for and loved, and you’re giving them the best chance of finding a new happy home.”
The much-loved animal charity is concerned that struggling owners may not be aware of the help it can offer them and could be putting their pets’ welfare at risk by abandoning them or selling them online to the first available takers.
Recent arrivals at Battersea include Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Henley, who was abandoned and tied to a lamppost in south-east London for over five hours before a concerned member of public bought her to the safety of Battersea. Domestic Short-hair cat Pretzel was found dumped in a box suffering with severe dental disease.
Nine-week-old Border Collie puppy, Tilly’s owners brought her in to Battersea when their circumstances changed, and they could no longer care for her. Thanks to her owners making the responsible decision to bring her in, Tilly has now found a new home.
Rob continues: “In Tilly’s case, her owners really did the best thing for her. If she’d been left abandoned on the street or sold online, she could have easily ended up in the wrong hands.
“Battersea will always be here for animals that desperately need our help, like Pretzel and Henley. Fortunately, we haven’t seen many pets being abandoned on the street but even one or two are too many.
“We know that it can be a very difficult decision to give up your dog or cat and many people may feel embarrassed or guilty. Please put that fear aside for the sake of your pet’s welfare and bring them to a rescue. You’ll never be judged or shamed for making the responsible decision.”
If you need to find a new home for your dog or cat and are looking for advice, or if you’d like to make a donation to Battersea to help us continue to care for thousands of dogs and cats a year, please visit www.battersea.org.uk. Battersea’s behaviour advice line is open 8am-5pm Monday-Friday and can be reached on 0203 8878347.