35% of dog owners in the East of England think it is now more difficult to give their dog all they need
Contributed by Dogs Trust
16/08/2022 - Dogs Trust
With interest rates at their highest since 1995, Dogs Trust warns of a looming housing crisis for dogs
41% of dog owners in the East of England think it is now more difficult to give their dog all they needed, compared to before the cost of living crisis began.
Following last week’s half point rise in interest rates, the UK’s leading dog welfare charity has warned that the sky high cost of essentials, such as eating and heating, is leaving many dog owners unable to provide for their dogs.
With adoption numbers dropping because people can’t afford to take on a new dog, this has the potential to lead to a housing crisis for the nation’s dogs, says Dogs Trust which has a rehoming centre in Snetterton.
Over recent months, the charity has received a record number of calls from people asking Dogs Trust to take in their dogs, in the face of the new cost of everyday living. Inquiries to give up a dog have increased to the highest level since its records began, with 4,370 inquiries received in July 2022.
There’s been a notable increase in the number of people calling in for financial reasons, citing problems such as huge increases in their regular monthly bills, such as energy and mortgage payments, as the reason why they can no longer afford doggy basics such as food, which has also itself increased in price.
In addition, Dogs Trust’s monthly poll of the UK’s dog owners, run by YouGov, shows that 41% of respondents in the East of England 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 cause the most worry; just under half (49%) of East of England dog owners said vet bills were currently their biggest financial canine concern for the coming year. Over a fifth (22%) were most worried about the cost of dog food, while 15% named insurance as their lead worry.
Housing crisis for dogs
The number of owners contacting Dogs Trust to inquire about giving up their dog is sky-rocketing – the charity has seen the number of inquiries from owners needing to give up their dogs rising to its highest level since its Contact Centre opened in 2014, with 4,370 handover enquiries received in July alone; a trend which is increasing month-on month, and has doubled compared to the start of 2021.
Meanwhile, when non-dog owners were asked, as part of the August poll, whether the rising cost of living would prevent them from adopting or buying a dog, six out of ten people (62%) in the East of England said it would.
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, says:
“The UK is fast heading towards a situation in which, due to the cost of living crisis, we’ll have a surplus of dogs whose owners need to give them up, but a deficit of people who can afford to take on a new dog.
“Dogs Trust is issuing an urgent call for emergency foster carers, especially people with experience of caring for big dogs, who can provide a port in a storm to a dog who, for the moment, has nowhere else to go. If you can help, we urge you to get in touch with us and help look after the nation’s dogs through this crisis.”
“Likewise, if you’re struggling to afford looking after your own dog, Dogs Trust will do all it can to help. I’m afraid we can’t promise miracles, but we’re always here to listen without judgement, talk through the options and give dog owners the benefit of our expert knowledge.”
How you can help
Dogs Trust is urgently seeking fosterers – experienced dog owners who can offer temporary homes to dogs in need.
The charity is calling out, in particular, to people with space in their homes and hearts for dogs which are more difficult to find forever homes for, such as big dogs, un-housetrained dogs, and dogs with challenging behaviour. If you think you can offer a dog in need a temporary home while the UK is in financial crisis, please contact us at www.dogstrust.org.uk/rehoming/fostering
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