A DOG welfare charity that operates in Hampshire says it is receiving unprecedented numbers of enquiries from desperate dog owners who feel they’ve run out of options.  

As new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget looms, Dogs Trust, has warned that an overwhelming number of dog owners are turning to the charity.

In recent months, the charity has received a record number of calls from people asking it to take in their dogs. August surpassed its previous record for the most enquiries in a single month, with almost 5,000 (4,993) owners enquiring about its handover service - a 14 per cent increase on July this year, and a 26 per cent increase from August 2021.

READ MORE: Dog charity warns of imminent crisis for pets and owners

A poll conducted by YouGov shows the number of people looking to give up their dogs. September’s poll revealed that 46 per cent of respondents in the South East thought they would find it more difficult to give their dog all they needed, compared to before the cost of living crisis began. 

Vet bills continued to be the greatest cause for worry with 56 per cent of South East dog owners confirming it was their biggest financial canine concern for the coming year. Meanwhile, 16 per cent of respondents were most worried about the cost of insurance, while 15 per cent named dog food as their lead worry. 

Hampshire Chronicle:

When non-dog owners were asked, as part of the September poll, whether the rising cost of living would prevent them from adopting or buying a dog, more than six out of 10 (64 per cent) said it would.  

Dogs Trust chief executive Owen Sharp said: “Dogs Trust has been receiving a shocking and unprecedented number of calls from dog owners asking us to take in their dogs because they feel they won’t be able to see them through this crisis. 

“Over the last month, we received on average 17 handover calls an hour from desperate owners feeling they’ve run out of options.  

“Combine this with the fact that 64 per cent of people in the South East told us, in our new cost of living poll, that they wouldn’t be prepared to take on a dog right now, and it’s clear to see we’re about to have a serious animal welfare issue on our hands.” 

As the nation faces its worst financial crisis in decades, the dog welfare charity is urging people with space in their home to step forward, with a particular focus on dogs that are more difficult to find forever homes for, such as big dogs, un-housetrained dogs, and dogs with challenging behaviour. For more go to www.dogstrust.org.uk/rehoming/fostering.

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