For many of us, 2020 has been spent indoors during extended periods of lockdown. As a result of the loneliness, many people have turned to animals for companionship. According to a survey conducted last year by the Kennel Club, there was a significant jump in puppy ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that has backfired as many families who took on the responsibility of puppies are now looking to re-home them.
According to the people interviewed by the survey, two-thirds of people shared that their puppies had been a “lifeline” for them during the pandemic. And there were 40% who admitted that they took on the responsibility of a puppy just because they were lonely and wanted company. While the COVID-19 pandemic has kept us isolated inside, it has also created a lot of other instabilities – ones that are causing some people to rethink their impulsive purchases.
According to a report by The Times, there are now a lot of people who are experiencing buyer’s regret. As a result, animal rescues and charities are becoming inundated with re-homing requests. The Daily Mail revealed that the Dogs Trust has shared that over the last three months, their organization has received more than 1,800 calls from people who are wanting to re-home puppies. Many of these puppies are less than a year old.
— NYC Dog Finder (@NYCPuppies) September 7, 2020
The Dogs Trust operations director, Adam Clowes, stressed that those who are looking to acquire a new puppy need to understand that they are committing to a 10-15 year responsibility. It is not a decision to be made lightly. Both Pets4you and Preloved have also shared advertisements from other people who are trying to re-home their puppies whenever their lockdown situations have changed.
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The Times shared one such advertisement for a six-month-old collie-spaniel cross. The owner wrote, “Unfortunately, due to work commitments now we are no longer able to give him the loving and care he requires and deserves.”
1/5 Meet roxy! ❤️ #pottersbar #uk #animals #pets #rehome #adopt #cute Gorgeous Roxy is in the RSPCA looking for a new home after her owner was no longer able to care for her. Roxy had been in this home since she was a puppy. Can you imagine who strange being in a rescue centre pic.twitter.com/DYczvYDZGX
— Change a life! (@UkAdopt) June 13, 2020
There was also another dog owner of a Beagle puppy who wrote a re-homing ad which read, “My beagle pup is now 20 weeks old. She is up to date with jabs etc and have paper work to show. She is also microchipped. I bought this pup for myself and now find myself with different hours at work due to COVID.”
A spokesperson for the RSPCA shared with The Times that all these re-homing ads are the result of impulsive decisions made by people during the quarantine period. The spokesperson further explained the RSPCA’s worry that more and more people will be finding themselves facing similar situations after rushing into purchasing puppies during the lockdown.
Already seeing so many posts of people rehoming puppies. “Puppy is already 9 pounds and getting too big” “my one year old isn’t too fond of her” (yes, seriously what some posts have said) ANIMALS. ARE. NOT. PRESENTS. THEY ARE BIG COMMITMENTS.
— sarah. (@saraahguy) January 5, 2021
Furthermore, the Kennel Club’s research revealed that many new puppy owners did less than two hours of research before getting a dog, something that leaves them “particularly vulnerable to scams and unable to spot the signs of an unscrupulous breeder.”
Hopefully, as we proceed into 2021, people will be more mindful about not jumping into dog ownership just because they don’t want to be alone at home. This pandemic isn’t going to last forever. Before getting a dog, it’s important to think about the long-term. They require plenty of love, care, and attention that extends beyond just a few months.
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