The RSPCA is championing rescue dogs in its Adoptober campaign as it reveals that searches for puppies increased sixfold during lockdown.
The charity fears that the impact of ‘lockdown puppies’ will hit the already-struggling rescue centres hard in the coming months as Google searches for ‘puppies near me’ was at 15,000 throughout lockdown, compared to just 2,000 in January 2020.
There have already been 2,350 dog welfare incidents this year in Manchester alone.
And the RSPCA is concerned that as families return to normal life and may no longer be able to care for the puppy they bought during lockdown, a dog welfare crisis could be approaching for 2021.
The charity says that there are currently not enough puppies bred in the UK to meet the demands of those who want them, and as a result there appears to be a surge of puppies coming in from outside the UK.
RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “We have lots of dogs waiting for their forever homes so please do consider getting a rescue.”
They have no way of checking the conditions those animals are being kept in and there are fears that these sales are fuelling cruel puppy farms and long and stressful journeys for the puppies.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, the charity is urging families to do thorough research and ensure they can commit long-term to a dog before bringing one home and to make sure they are not caught out by those acting illegally.
That is why throughout October, the RSPCA is shining a light on animals in its care that are in much need of a new home through the Adoptober campaign.
For more information or to offer an RSPCA rescue dog a new home, visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet