A total of approximately 1,615 dogs were put down in 2011; the total tally across the then 26 Northern Ireland councils. Fortunately, this figure has since decreased to 152.
However, with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic charities and Dog trusts worry that dog-abandonment numbers will most likely increase. Predictions foretell that a staggering 40,000 pups in the UK stand at the risk of being abandoned and becoming stray. The Charity encourages responsible dog ownership, claiming that it is key to reducing the number of dogs being put down.
Playing their part brilliantly, the Dog trust offers a sponsored neutering scheme, as well as the opportunity for free microchipping of dogs, through local councils, which they report has led to a decrease in the stray dog population in recent years.
Even though the demand for puppies skyrocketed during the lockdown, the seemingly inevitable financial crisis could turn the pups into strays. The Dogs Trust’s chief executive Owen Sharp says “The sad reality is that in times of financial hardship many people struggle to cope with looking after their pets, and the number of abandoned dogs has gone up,”
This is echoing the same challenges that were seen in the 2008 financial crash where dog parents struggled to properly care for their pups. Along with physical provision, a great number of dog parents also tend to be overwhelmed by their dog’s behavioral problems – such as separation anxiety.
However, the decline in irresponsible dog parents surely decreases the number of pups being tossed over to dog shelters, ultimately restricting the number of pups being put down.
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