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Dog charities urge caution as local lockdowns create more demand for puppies

Cute puppy dog-serious
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The new wave of local lockdowns to halt the spread of COVID-19 has led to an increased demand for puppies. But leading dog charities are worried about what happens next...

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 27/10/2020, 21:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:24

It should sound like good news. After all, more demand for pups means more dogs are finding homes. But things aren't that simple.

Firstly, some greedy breeders are charging as much as £4,000 per pup. And these high prices could force people to look elsewhere for a pooch, leading to an increase in dangerous breeding practices and puppy smuggling.

People won't be at home forever

What's more, UK dog charities have reminded people that they won't be working from home forever. They're worried many of these newly adopted pups will find themselves back at the shelter after local restrictions start to ease and people return to the office.

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And they have good reason to be concerned. After the first lockdown ended, animal charities across the UK received an influx of unwanted pets. Alyson Jones is Head of Rehoming Services at Blue Cross. She saw this happen first-hand, and Alyson doesn't want history to repeat itself during the second period of restrictions.

A dog is always for life

"We're concerned some people may not consider the commitment they are making," said Alyson. "But also that many dogs will struggle to cope when their owners return to the office, resulting in them being given up to rescue centres or worse still, abandoned."

The UK is currently under a three-tier lockdown system, ranging from medium, high, to very high. It's unclear how long the tiers will stay in place or whether we'll see another full lockdown this winter. But wherever you are - or however long this lasts  - it's important to remember that a dog is for life, not just for lockdown.

See also: Puppies becoming unaffordable in the UK as demand soars during lockdown