Cash-strapped British families are making heartbreaking decisions to either put down or send away their beloved pets.
This is because of the crippling cost of living crisis that’s made it unsustainable for many to maintain care for their dogs.
One desperate owner even dumped loveable young puppies in a box near a rehoming centre with a note pleading for help.
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And the statistics are equally sobering, with the charity Dogs Trust revealing to Daily Star that there were 17,953 enquiries from disheartened owners looking to give up their dogs between June and September this year.
This is a 32% increase from the same period last year and the charity is busy collecting abandoned pups for their rehoming centres.
Back in September the CEO, 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% of people 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.”
The Daily Star asked the charity whether our readers could be introduced to some of the dogs recently taken in.
Cookie and Pretzel
Belgian Malinois Shepherd crosses Cookie and Pretzel were around six-weeks-old when they were found dumped in a box in the park near the Basildon Rehoming Centre.
“Despite the circumstances, they were very confident and sweet, if not a little vocal,” one of the charity workers said.
“They were found with a note asking for them to be looked after, and this combined with their age, makes us think that they were loved puppies whose owner simply could afford to care for them.”
Thankfully, the cute puppies have now been rehomed with new loving families.
Skye is a Husky whose owner had no choice but to hand him over because he was no longer able to feed him or care for him properly.
The seven-year-old is now staying at the Kenilworth Rehoming Centre.
And advertising him, the charity said: “If you enjoy adventures, training and being active then Skye may be the boy for you!
“He is a very busy and intelligent boy who is eager to learn. He could live with confident children eight years or over who will be comfortable around bouncy and active dogs and give him space when needed.
“Skye is a husky mix, he would benefit from living with owners who are experienced living with typical husky breed traits or with owners who are willing to do their research.
“He’s a cracking young lad who is full of fun and adventure.”
Teddie and Tilly
Teddie, four, is a Bichon Shih Tzu cross while his little buddy Tilly, six, is a Shih Tzu.
Their owners were forced to give them up after they started working longer hours to deal with rising costs.
This meant the dogs, who are now also at the Kenilworth Rehoming Centre, struggled to cope with being left alone for extended periods of time.
Now looking for a new home, the charity said: “Tilly is a beautiful little bean who can be a little shy at first but once she gets to know you she is an absolute sweetheart and a real fuss pot!
“Teddy is more energetic than Tilly, and has a charming and cheeky character. Teddy and Tilly could live with younger children 6years old or above who will give them space when needed.
“They could live with a similar sized dog in their new home after a successful meet at the centre. They are a wonderful pair who can't wait to find their new home together.”
A Shih Tzu cross called Abbie is currently staying at the Darlington Rehoming Centre.
She had been living with her owners for nine years and was described as a great pet.
However, changing financial circumstances led to her being sent away.
The charity said: “Since he has arrived, we have found he is a sweet dog who can be a little hand shy but seeks a lot of reassurance from his human pals.
“He prefers the company of female dogs of a similar size and enjoys a little potter around. He is currently available for rehoming.”
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