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Many families in danger of losing their dogs to the financial crisis this winter - Dogs Trust

As new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget looms, the UK’s leading dog welfare charity, which has a rehoming centre in Ballymena, has warned that it is receiving unprecedented numbers of enquiries from desperate dog owners who feel they’ve run out of options.  


Record numbers 

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% increase on July this year, and a 26% increase from August 2021.  


September YouGov poll 

The number of people looking to give up their dogs is placed in context by Dogs Trust’s September poll of the UK’s dog owners, run by YouGov. This month’s poll shows that 48% of respondents in Northern Ireland thought they would find it more difficult to give their dog all they needed, compared to before the cost of living crisis began. 

Dog food and vet bills continue to cause the most worry; 41% of dog owners in Northern Ireland said dog food costs were currently their biggest financial canine concern for the coming year and 27% of respondents were most worried about the cost of vet bills. 

Meanwhile, 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, almost 6 out of ten (59%) said it would.  


Owen Sharp, Dogs Trust CEO, says: 

“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 59% of people in Northern Ireland 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.” 


How you can help 

As the nation faces its worst financial crisis in decades, Dogs Trust is urgently seeking help for the dogs who will feel the impact. The charity is calling out, in particular, to people with space in their homes and hearts for dogs that 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 Dogs Trust at:

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