Over 100 dogs reported abandoned in Suffolk since last year
- Credit: RSPCA
The RSPCA has been called to more than 100 reports of abandoned animals in Suffolk since January 2020 - but the charity fears that number could grow as a result of the pandemic.
When dogs are taken by new owners, many believe they have found their forever homes. However, sadly, abandoned animals is something frontline RSPCA officers have always dealt with in significant numbers.
Now RSPCA officers fear that the combination of a surge in spur-of-the-moment pet ownership during the pandemic, and the change in people's circumstances as some normality continues to return, could all be the perfect storm for more abandonments.
One puppy given up by its owners ended in the care of the RSPCA just eight days after going home with her new owners.
The ten-week-old little poodle cross fox terrier was purchased over Christmas but was relinquished to the charity's Martlesham Animal Centre - run by the RSPCA Suffolk East & Ipswich Branch - just over a week later.
Animal centre manager Zoe Barrett said: “Molly didn’t get on with the other dog in the house and her new owners simply couldn’t cope with her so asked us for help.
"Unfortunately, lockdown has made it much more difficult for puppy owners to properly socialise and train their dogs.
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"We understand lots of dog owners are struggling to cope with behavioural problems due to the major changes to our way of life and it may be tricky for people to get help due to the restrictions that are in place.
"Thankfully, we had space to take Molly in and we’ve already found her a wonderful new home.
"But puppies are hard work and it’s really important that people consider whether they can manage one before bringing one home; and whether now is the right time to add a dog to their home?”
The RSPCA is now urging people to consider the financial consequences, including if their circumstances were to change, and to remember that coronavirus restrictions will not last forever; so it is important to be confident that you can meet the needs of your pet when full normality resumes.
The 100 calls that the RSPCA received were to their national line and not all might have led to abandonments and some calls could have been about the same dogs.