Fundraising walk organised for rescue centres full of ‘pandemic puppies’ | TeamDogs
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Fundraising walk organised for rescue centres full of ‘pandemic puppies’

A significant proportion of the dogs needing new homes have behavioural issues

Leila Marshall

Posted 38d ago

Last month, over three quarters of rescue centres were almost or totally full, and more than half of the dogs handed over were aged under two years. But this month, there’s a way you can support shelters, even if you aren’t in a position to adopt a dog.

Agria Pet Insurance surveyed 300 UK dog rescues in August and found that the number of dogs and puppies coming into their care since the start of the pandemic was continuing to increase and a significant proportion of them were suffering from behavioural issues.

Specialist breed rescue German Shepherd Rescue Elite (GSRE) said: “Many of the dogs coming under our care were covid puppies that are now aged between one and two years old. No longer an adorable puppy, but a clever, energetic dog who requires exercise, good food, training, and love.”

READ MORE: Rescue centre’s ‘saddest case’ is on road to recovery as award-winning dog

In response to its research findings, Agria Pet Insurance is uniting the nation’s dogs this September to help dogs and puppies in need of a new home. The Agria Dog Walk is a fully virtual event created to encourage owners of more fortunate dogs to help those having a harder time – just by dedicating a walk to a UK dog rescue and donating to a centre included in the campaign.

Designed to be inclusive and reach every dog owner in the UK, the aim is to raise as much money during the month as possible. For everyone who donates £5 or more, Agria Pet Insurance will also donate £5.

The rehoming partner manager at Agria Pet Insurance, Karen Green, said: “The situation we’re seeing in dog rescues now is a crippling perfect storm for many of them. Not only are they fuller than ever, but the behavioural issues shown by many of the dogs now needing homes often results in a much longer time needed before they are ready to be adopted – blocking places needed by other dogs.

“With significant financial pressures on top of this, many rescues we work with are at breaking point.”

READ MORE: My three rescue dogs and what they’ve taught me

Aberdeen-based charity, Mrs Murray’s Home for Stray Cats and Dogs, explained how much donations mean to their rescue: “Like all charities, we have seen a decrease in our income due to the pandemic, and our supporters also facing their own financial problems, so maybe can’t support us like they used to.

“Any extra donations to us would mean so much, enabling us to buy enrichment items for the dogs in our care and help with veterinary costs.”

This latest research builds on the pet insurer’s survey of UK puppy owners last year. This indicated that behaviour issues among ‘lockdown puppies’ were often the biggest challenge for new owners.

Tom Vaughan, head of marketing at Agria Pet Insurance, said: “Our own research in 2020, together with many more reports of the pandemic’s impact on dogs, led us to want to find out more about what the situation is right now in rescues – and do something practical to help.

“As a dog owner myself and working among a team of dog owners and animal lovers, it’s heart-breaking to discover the continued impact the past year is having on dogs, and also on the amazing rescues working so hard to do all they can to help.

“The Agria Dog Walk brings dogs and dog owners together to help those that need it the most.”

To find out more about the Agria Dog Walk, how to donate and which rescues are involved in the campaign, click here.

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