Dogs Trust asks the nation: is now really the right time for you to get a dog?
Charity concerned about impending puppy crisis as online searches to ‘get a puppy’ rise by 120%
DogsTrust is asking the public to weigh up if they are actually ready for the realities of dog ownership before taking the leap, as searches to get a dog have shot up in the past month while the country is on lockdown.
The charity is concerned there may be a spike in people giving up their dog when normality resumes and reality sinks in. This is the sad state of affairs that often follows Christmas when people also get dogs on a whim.
Dog ownership can be rewarding, but caring for a dog when you are at home 24/7 is not the norm, so the charity is temporarily tweaking its famous slogan to ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Lockdown’ to get everyone to think twice before going ahead with a puppy purchase.
In the long-term, are you ready…
Dogs Trust’s Chief Executive, Owen Sharp, said:
“Dog ownership can be so rewarding, but it’s also a huge responsibility which is why we are reminding people today that ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Lockdown’.
Like Christmas, when people are at home more, they might think now is the perfect time to get a dog. For some people this will be the case, but we’re asking people to consider when the lockdown lifts how your life will need to change to accommodate your four-legged friend.
We’re encouraging potential dog owners to carry out our test (see below) to find out if you’re Dog Ready. Are you ready to be chief pooper scooper? Are you ready to forego a lie in ever again? As well as more serious questions around vet treatment and preparing for emergencies. If there is still a dog- shaped space in your life, then it may be the right time for you.”
Graham Norton, owner of Labradoodle Bailey, TV presenter and Dogs Trust supporter said:
“As a dog owner myself, I know how much joy four-legged friends bring to our lives. I’ve certainly found that my gorgeous dog, Bailey, has taken the boredom out of lockdown for me, and I’ve really enjoyed spending even more time with him than usual. However, whilst the thought of introducing a cute, fluffy pooch to your family right now might be appealing, I fully support Dogs Trust’s important message, ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Lockdown’. Don’t forget that you still have to walk a dog on a rainy evening and pick up their poo in the dark!
Please remember that life will go back to ‘normal’ at some point with people returning to work and school, and when this happens you need to think about whether you can still fit a dog into your life. Taking a look at Dogs Trust’s ‘are you dog ready’ test is a great place to start if you’re thinking seriously about getting a dog.”
Dogs Trust are asking people to take the test and see how ‘dog-ready’ they actually are. If you think you are ready for a dog, although centres are closed to the public, rehoming is happening on a limited basis. Please see website for details. Take the fun test here.
A dedicated doggie foster carer who has helped care for more than 30 rescue dogs has rekindled her love for painting. She says it’s all down to the four-legged friends she has brought into her home.
Jo Heather from Salisbury started fostering dogs through Dogs Trust Salisbury's Home From Home scheme and has hand painted a picture of every dog that has come into her home. Collies, terriers, puppies and oldies, she has captured the likeness of every one whilst they sleep.
Jo said, "I studied Fine Art a few years ago but life got in the way and I had not picked up a paint brush for some time. But once I started fostering, our doggy visitors inspired me to revive my love of painting. I have always been inspired by nature, wildlife and animals, so I like to use the time to sit quietly during an evening, a tired dog curled up by my side and draw and paint. "
“As my daughters were growing up, we would often visit the centre with donations and were always in awe of those who worked there and the valuable role Dogs Trust played. During one visit two years ago, we saw a poster highlighting the need for foster homes and thought that might be a way to get involved and play a positive part in a dog’s life.
After a visit from the Home from Home coordinator, Emma Sainsbury, our minds were made up. She explained the support we would receive from Dogs Trust and the type of dogs who benefit from being in a foster home. It is so rewarding to see a dog starting to trust, to learn to play again or start to enjoy walks after being nervous of the outdoors. We have attended various Dog School classes that have helped with our understanding of dogs, but above all we just open our home and enjoy offering a safe space, full of care and kindness. We have had wonderful dogs of all ages and we are always so happy to see them find their forever homes.”
Emma Sainsbury said, “We are incredibly lucky to have a fantastic network of foster carers like Jo. The Home From Home scheme is there to help our doggies whilst they wait to be adopted, but it’s also so heartwarming to see how the dogs can help their foster carers discover things about themselves too. We believe a dog is for life and our fantastic fosterers really do show our dogs the meaning behind this statement, giving them a safe, loving environment to enjoy whilst they wait for their new families. For anyone who is a dog lover but dog-less and who wants a four-legged friend in their life but can’t commit to having a dog long-term, fostering could be the perfect solution.” See dogstrust.org.uk for more information.
Staff at Dogs Trust Evesham are appealing for a loving new home this Easter for a three-year-old Jack Russell with a striking resemblance to the Easter Bunny.
Despite Dinky’s supersized ears being the talk of the rehoming centre and the fact he’s been listening out for a new home since he arrived nine months ago, they haven’t helped him sound out a new home yet. The fun-loving, lively Terrier is now hoping that a new owner will come forward and help put a spring in his step this Easter weekend.
Dogs Trust Evesham’s Rehoming Centre manager, said:
“With unusually big ears, Dinky could easily be mistaken for the Easter Bunny but instead of hunting for eggs this Easter, he is on the lookout for a home to call his own. Lots of people have commented on his striking appearance and we are hoping that all this attention will result in a new home.”
“Dinky is looking to find a loving home to call his own. He’s definitely one for the Terrier fans, he’s extremely clever and loves to learn, he’s toy mad and loves to be out and about exploring. He’s always on the go! He’s not a typical lap dog but does like to be affectionate with his nearest and dearest.
“Dinky does have partial vision in one eye, but this doesn’t hold him back from living life to the full, running around in his garden and showing off his new tricks.”
Dogs Trust Evesham take in hundreds of dogs every year but some, like Dinky, often need a little extra TLC and help from the Training and Behaviour team in supporting them through bespoke training programmes to help them flourish. Dinky has been doing so well with his training, the team say he’d make a fun and entertaining companion and are looking forward to the day, in the not too distant future, when he finds the forever home of his dreams.
Dinky will need a patient owner, preferably with someone who has experience of owning a lively Terrier and can help him settle into a new routine. He will need to be the only pet in an adult-only home and will need his new owners to be around for most of the day with time built up gradually. He loves the company of people and enjoys lots of fuss, attention and playtime.
Dinky is relaxing in a quieter area of the rehoming centre so anyone interested in giving him a home would need to contact Dogs Trust Evesham on 01386 572666 and chat to one of the Training and Behaviour Advisors to find out if you could be the perfect match.
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and 12 x author. I'm published in national and regional newspapers / magazines.