Experts in the UK announced that about 23 percent of dogs that were adopted during the pandemic and were people’s lifelines were at risk of being abandoned after returning to normal life. Researchers warned that animals will face great physical and psychological destruction, and warned owners and businesses to be sensitive.
After nearly 18 months of quarantine, England is preparing to remove social distance and mask measures as of July 19 and move on to a more ‘normal’ life. While the situation will be welcomed by many, new research spells bad news for dogs adopted amid the post-quarantine pandemic.
Experts from The Kennel Club, a London-based dog club, announced that one in five dog owners are considering abandoning their dogs after quarantine. The decision was largely driven by fears that offices, bars and restaurants are not dog-friendly.
“Unless dogs can move in with their owners and adapt to their post-pandemic lifestyle, some will be left home alone for too long, and unfortunately even re-home or abandon,” said Bill Lambert, spokesperson for The Kennel Club.
Lambert continued: “These results can be quite devastating for dogs that don’t deserve to be left behind after being a lifeline for many during the lockdown.” Dogs can get depressed just like humans and have trouble adjusting to the street.”
However, the research comes shortly after the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association announced that a total of 3.2 million UK households have owned a pet since the start of the pandemic.
In the survey conducted by The Kennel Club, more than 2,000 dog owners were interviewed. Their results showed that 23 percent of dog owners feared that after quarantine, they would not be able to provide a suitable home for their animals. Worryingly, 17 percent agreed to consider re-adoption as an option.
And 36 percent of dog owners said that when restrictions ease, they worry about what to do with animals if they can’t go to places where they usually socialize and work. On the other hand, while there are still restrictions in the UK, many dog owners seem to have a hard time adjusting to a less restrictive life with a dog. The research revealed that 21 percent of owners leave their dog at home longer than they should, while 14 percent leave their dog in the car or on the street while going somewhere that is not dog friendly.
On the other hand, after the study, The Kennel Club launched a new campaign called “Open for Dog”. In the statement made by the institution, it was stated that the accommodation and entertainment sector can play an important role for dogs in tackling the welfare crisis faced by this pandemic puppy generation.
“Following the one-year lockdown restrictions affecting the tourism sector, animal-friendly policies could bring the country economic benefits,” Lambert said. “According to our research, more than one in two dog owners say they would stay longer if their dog was with them.”
Lambert concluded: “Dogs should be as much a part of our lives and daily routines as possible. We hope to see the UK having dogs as loyal to them as they are to us.”