Dogs Trust is predicting tens of thousands of stray or abandoned dogs could need help as a result of the pandemic – and warns it’s already starting to see the impact of the Coronavirus crisis.

Demand for puppies has soared during lockdown, with Google searches for ‘buy a puppy’ increasing by 166% since lockdown was announced on 23 March. But as the UK braces itself for the full economic impact of the pandemic, the charity is warning we could see a sharp rise in the number of dogs being given up or put to sleep if families struggle to cope with the resulting hardships of the crisis.

Dogs Trust estimates we could see up to 40,000 more stray or abandoned dogs in need of help, especially if – as economists indicate – we see a financial crisis on par or worse than the crash of 2008, which saw a 25.6% increase in stray and abandoned dogs the year after. However, experts at Dogs Trust warn that the fallout of this pandemic could worsen as we anticipate more dogs being abandoned due to behaviour problems like separation anxiety, which could develop either during, or as a result of lockdown.

Last year, the charity’s annual Stray Dog Survey found that 46% of dogs in local authority kennels were left with nowhere to turn and needed the support of welfare organisations like Dogs Trust. However, if enough safe rescue shelter spaces cannot be found for dogs taken in by local authorities, euthanasia rates could also increase by up to 25% in the next year as was seen in 2009 following the recession – meaning over 1,800 dogs in local authority shelters could be put to sleep unnecessarily.

Dogs Trust has launched an urgent appeal to help ensure it can continue to provide help for dogs in need now and in the future. The charity is asking for people to give what they can. Donate at;

www.dogstrust.org.uk/crisis

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