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Numbers of dogs being surrendered rising again with return to work and school

Last month Dogs Trust received the highest number of surrender request calls from dog owners since April.

Image: Fran Veale/Dogs Trust

ANIMAL RESCUE CHARITY Dogs Trust has said it is concerned that as children return to school and people move out of working from home there will be an increase in the number of dogs being surrendered.

It said that numbers are already beginning to rise after a significant drop in the early days of the pandemic.

Between January and August this year there were 624 surrender request calls to the charity, compared with 1,266 in the same period last year. Last month, however, the charity received the highest number of surrender request calls from dog owners since April.

Corina Fitzsimons, PR and communications manager for Dogs Trust Ireland, said the decline in the number of dogs being surrendered to rescue charities during the lockdown and in the weeks afterwards was welcome. But she said they are concerned, particularly as children return to school, that the number will increase in the coming months.

“We also envisage there could be a large increase as people in offices start to go back to work and as puppies reach that adolescent stage,” she said.

Fitzsimons said during the lockdown there was a huge increase in people offering to foster dogs and also an increase in rehoming applications.

“So many people were so lonely during lockdown and dogs are such great company,” she said.

“People who had dogs before all of this were spending more time with them at home and I think people have a better appreciate for what it’s like when their dog is at home alone all day now. You’d notice people out walking their dogs more often now.

“I do think over the coming months the surrender numbers will go up and could go up quite a lot. The common reason for people is that they just don’t have time.

“If you consider the average person spends at least two hours travelling to and from work, if you didn’t have to do that every day because you’re working from home then your dog is walked and played within those two hours. If people are back to work, it’s back to that commute again.”

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The charity is urging dog owners who are struggling to contact them for advice and assistance.

“We have online dog training classes people can do in their own homes” Fitzsimons said.

“Bringing it online means we’re able to offer it all across the country and people can chat to each other a bit, share their experiences and realise that a lot of these issues are completely normal and can be helped with training.”

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