CALLS to an animal welfare group in Cork from people seeking to surrender their dogs have increased tenfold in recent weeks.
Cork Dog Action Welfare Group (DAWG) has urged members of the public to consider all the options available before contacting them seeking to surrender their canines due to the pressure for space they are currently facing.
DAWG volunteer Maire O’Sullivan said the Cork animal welfare group is under ‘pressure’.
“It is still fairly bad,” she said. “We are under pressure. We are pretty much full at the moment.
“A couple of weeks ago we had to essentially declare that we were closed for new dogs because we had so many.
“It is not even the number of dogs, it is just the dogs we are getting in that have more complex needs. A lot of them need to see a trainer and need to have some work done with them before they are rehomed.”
The volunteer said they are currently receiving an exceptionally high number of calls from people seeking to surrender pets.
“We are getting four to five calls a day from people looking to surrender their dogs,” she said. “We would have gotten one call every two days previously. It has been a tenfold increase.
“It is really sad. We knew it was coming as everyone warned it was coming. However, with no fundraising, we couldn’t put aside funds to prepare for it.
“The increase is down to people going back to work and their dog has never been left alone. The dog has spent their entire life with one or two people doting over them constantly. They just don’t know how to cope with being left alone. A lot of them have separation anxiety and a lot of them will not know how to be on their own.
“This can result in dogs barking all day, being destructive and upsetting the neighbours,.
“If people are looking to surrender we are asking them to be patient with us while we are working on rehoming rather than sending them to a shelter,” she added.
Ms O’Sullivan who has urged people to explore all other options before seeking to surrender their dogs to DAWG.
“Unfortunately every charity in Ireland is getting a big volume of surrendered dogs,” she said. “Our suggestion to people who love their dogs is that there are ways around this.
“They can look into using a doggy day care facility for a few days a week, getting a trainer themselves or a dog walker who can come and take them out while they are not there. There are steps people can take to resolve these issues.”
The volunteer said the demand for puppies has died down from the pandemic puppy boom. She urged people to strongly consider whether a new puppy fits their lifestyle before making a commitment.
“It has definitely died down from the insane peak that we had last year where for the first time in the country there were fewer dogs than people were looking for,” she said. “People have to consider if getting a dog fits their lifestyle. They have to weigh up everything.
“If people have a dog and it isn’t working out, getting in a trainer would be the first step. A dog can’t know what you want without it being explained to them.
“It requires a lot of training to resolve and people are not willing to put in the time.”