There has been a major surge in people seeking to give up their dog as lockdown restrictions end in Ireland, according to Dogs Trust.
The dog welfare charity said it had received 515 requests from people looking to surrender their dog over the last three months – a 212 per cent increase on 165 requests for the same period last year.
Much of the surge was seen in June alone, with “an alarming” 240 requests received from people looking to give up their dog over the month, averaging out as eight per day.
“The charity is extremely concerned by this surge as life starts to return to normal in Ireland. By comparison, they received just 50 requests in June 2020,” Dogs Trust said.
In response to the surge, the charity is offering a new ‘Life After Lockdown – Bark to Basics’ pack offering practical techniques for dog owners to help their pets cope with the transition back to normality.
Becky Bristow, executive director of Dogs Trust Ireland, said: “While there are genuine cases of people needing to rehome their dog, we are very worried by the huge increase in people contacting us to surrender their dog as restrictions ease.
“We would encourage all dog owners to sign up for our free interactive pack and start acclimatising their dog to spending more time on their own. Our aim for this campaign is to help keep as many dogs happy in their existing homes as possible.
“We are appealing to owners to be patient with their dogs and remember, dogs don’t chew your belongings out of spite, it’s usually caused by stress or boredom at suddenly finding themselves alone, with nothing to do.”
Ciara Byrne, the charity’s head of communications, added: “Even dogs who were used to not having their family at home in previous years have joyously embraced their humans being present more throughout the various lockdowns, so it’s not just puppies who arrived in homes during the pandemic that will be affected.”
For more information and to sign up for a free Bark to Basics pack, visit DogsTrust.ie/BarkToBasics.