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Animal welfare agency says more cats were abandoned than dogs during UK lockdown

It really is not something to be celebrated, but off the back of the recent disturbing rise in animal abandonment, fewer dogs are left to fend for themselves than cats.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 22/09/2020, 18:00

Figures released this week by the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes represent the harrowing stories of abandonment during the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

And it would seem that cats have been hardest hit by heartless owners. The Association’s survey of more than 130 shelters revealed that 17% more cats than dogs were abandoned in the month of April. During that month the UK was enduring an enforced nationwide lockdown.

‘Fear’ of C-19 a fallacy

Some observers suggest the fear of contracting C-19 from cats was a factor in the number of animals yielded to shelters. However, there was and still is little evidence to support this theory. The economic downturn upon us may also have been a factor but in April most people that were scheduled for employment had been furloughed on full pay.

Cause unknown

With causes yet unknown, animal charities now brace themselves for what could be a meteoric rise in the numbers of cats and dogs abandoned especially when people either go back to work or cut down on outgoings due to being unemployed.

Do you know how best to care for a kitten? Read our advice about looking after kittens and cats.

Of the differences of the numbers of abandonments, David Bowles - a trustee of Association of Dogs and Cats Homes - told The Telegraph he thought people were more likely to seek the company of a dog than a cat during lockdown.

It is hoped the numbers of cats given over to shelters will ebb as life returns to some degree of normality.