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4 January 2021, 12:22
Pet owners who no longer have time for the puppies they bought during lockdown are now paying for their 'impulse decisions'.
New data revealed by The Times has exposed the surge in people either selling or giving their puppies to adoption centres after making impulsive decisions to buy a pet during the pandemic.
When the UK was plunged into lockdown in March, many people started working from home, sparking an increase in puppy purchases.
However, as people return to work or start to look towards the end of the pandemic, more and more 'lockdown puppies' are being abandoned.
The RSPCA has said they are "very concerned" by the trend in canines being given up, but that they still expect more will follow.
Pet owners are either selling their puppies along, or leaving them in the care of adoption homes due to a lack of time or money to care for the pups.
This comes just months after prices for puppies surged during lockdown, as many people started looking for a companion while they were at home.
New data reveals that 1,800 people have called Dog's Trust over the past three months, all looking to give up dogs under the age of one.
Between December 27 and December 28 alone, they received 114 calls about giving up dogs, with 19 of these being puppies under nine-months-old.
One in five owners who purchased or adopted puppies during lockdown said they had not considered long-term responsibilities, according to research carried out by Kennel Club.
This appears to be one of the main issues, with many people 'impulse buying' their puppies before fully considering the long-term commitment that comes with having a dog.
The RSPCA, who are "bracing" themselves for more puppies said: "We were worried that many families who found themselves at home with time on their hands during lockdown would make impulse decisions to take on pets – and now, just a few months on, would be seeking to rehome their new dogs after realising how much commitment they are, having run into financial difficulties due to the pandemic, or because they’ve returned to work and no longer have time for them."
Operations director for the Dog's Trust, Adam Clowes, said that is was very important for people thinking about getting a puppy to realise it is a ten to 15-year commitment.
He explained: "All that initial lockdown excitement – 'We are never going to have to go into the office again, let’s get a dog!' – we are now seeing the consequence of that."