A new research study of 300 rescue centres has raised alarming concerns about the prospects of abandoned dogs finding new, permanent homes. Over 35% of dogs abandoned in 2011 are still awaiting re-homing as economic conditions and the sheer volume of dogs in rescue shelters are taking their toll on Britain's over-burdened animal welfare sector.
Aside from financial reasons, relationship break-ups are the main reasons UK's dogs are being given up, but there is a glimmer of hope this year which has been sadly lacking in previous years.
Encouragingly, over half (56%) of 1,277 dog owners surveyed wouldn't consider a dog who's been in a rescue centre for six months or more a problem dog, according to the recent survey carried out on behalf of Churchill Pet Insurance by UK dog adoption site, DogsBlog.com. In the past dogs who've been in rescue homes for more than six months have remained there because would-be dog owners have had concerns about how they would fit into their home.
Pete Bishenden, spokeman for Churchill Pet Insurance, said: “It’s worrying that so many pets are being housed in rescue centres because owners are struggling to cope. However, it seems that more prospective dog owners are willing, and would even prefer, to take in a rescue dog. Over 90% of dog lovers know about the problems dogs in rescue centres face and are aware of how many dogs are currently waiting for new homes. As a result, more would-be dog owners than in previous years are investigating adopting a dog.”
DogsBlog.com co-founder Ryan O'Meara offered his thoughts on the findings:
“Sadly, the number of dogs seeking new, loving homes from Britain's rescue shelters is making it almost mission impossible for the UK's already over-stretched animal welfare organisations. Whilst donations and funding for the welfare sector are as important as ever, the only real, long-term solution to the problems are for more dog lovers to consider adopting a dog rather than buying from breeders. We are facing a tipping point. As more dogs are being bred every day, the consequences of Britain's dog population problem are being felt in rescue organisations and healthy, loving dogs are losing their chance at a happy life with a loving family.”