The charity says it saw “unprecedented demand for pets” during the pandemic
Last updated 1 hour ago
Almost 400 animals were housed in Dorset by the RSPCA in 2020, new figures show.
A total of 390 animals were relocated by the animal welfare organization amid so-called “unprecedented demand for pets” during the pandemic.
The numbers were revealed when the RSPCA launched its annual adoptober campaign urging people to do “adopt, not shop” to help animals find their homes forever.
Lewis Taylor, the charity’s chief inspector in Dorset and Wiltshire, said the pandemic had created additional challenges for the charity.
“The pandemic has put pressure on it – it’s been a very busy year.
“We have a lot of animals coming in, so we need to network through facilities in the area, including some of our other centers in the wider area.”
He added, “We are also working very closely with other charities like Dogs Trust to try and accommodate as many animals as possible.”
“Huge increase” in pet ownership
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), founded in 1824, claims to be the oldest and largest animal welfare organization in the world.
The charity said it housed 28,740 animals nationwide last year, of which 390 were in Dorset.
But Dorset was relatively low on the county’s list of resettled animals – Derbyshire, Norfolk, the West Midlands and Kent all housed well over 1,000 pets.
The charity believes the rise in home brokerage was due to a “huge increase” in pet ownership during the pandemic. Many people chose a pet on a whim, without necessarily really reconsidering it.
Mr. Taylor told Greatest Hits Radio, “We believe the main reason is just the lack of complete research on what is needed.
“The constant demands, the financial costs, which they don’t just need physically – it’s not just about taking them for a walk or giving them an enclosure with food and water – but also all psychological aspects.
“If their mental wellbeing is not properly supported, behavior problems and other problems can arise that can become difficult for the people who take them in.”
He added that if someone gets a pet without being fully prepared for it in the long run, “all sorts of things happen.
“You get the behavior problems and it just means the household as a whole is less happy. Then the animals fall behind and do not get the attention they need.
“If there is also a financial impact, they are not getting the regular maintenance and care they need, such as flea and worm treatments and regular visits to the vet.”
The goal of adopters
The RSPCA’s Adoptober Campaign encourages people not only to “adopt, not quit,” but also to take care of their pets’ mental wellbeing.
Dr. Sam Gaines, RSPCA Pet Team Leader, said, “It is important that we remember that our mental health can affect that of our pets and we need to make sure we are aware of their mental health and how they are feeling. “.
“Our pets can give us insights into their psychological wellbeing from behavior changes to their body language, and it’s important that we, as pet owners, know how to recognize and respond to these signs.”
The charity suggests that signs of an unhappy dog are low posture and head, tucked-in tail, and tucked-back ears.
Cats may feel stressed or anxious due to routine disturbances such as:
Mr Taylor summed up the aim of the campaign: “The general message is to do some really good research first, make sure you are fully prepared, and that you are fully prepared, and adopt, not shop.”
For expert advice on accepting an animal for housing, see the RSPCA website.
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