DEMAND for four-legged friends soared during as families spent more time at together at home because of the Covid pandemic.
Figures released by the RSPCA show that a total of 220 dogs were rehomed in the West Midlands during 2020.
RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “At the beginning of lockdown we were concerned about how difficult it might be to rehome animals, especially as we had to pause all rehoming for several weeks until we were able to come up with a new rehoming model that adhered to the Government’s guidelines.
“Once we had approval from Defra to re-launch rehoming, we were staggered by the levels of interest we had in our animals; particularly our dogs.
“We saw an unprecedented level of interest in rehoming dogs from families who were spending more time at home and wanted the company of a furry friend.”
The charity launched virtual rehoming in order to continue rehoming animals while still sticking to the Government’s restrictions on social distancing and non-essential travel.
People were encouraged to apply for pets online and staff arranged video call interviews and meet and greets to match the right homes with the right people.
Dr Gaines added: “Sadly we are expecting to see more dogs coming into our care over the following months as people who are beginning to return to work find their dogs may struggle to cope at home alone, or because families cannot cope with behavioural problems or the costs of getting ‘lockdown puppies’ who are now struggling to adapt to adolescent and adult life.
“Anyone who needs help with their pet should speak to their vet, a clinical animal behaviourist or head to our website for advice.”
For more visit www.rspca.org.uk or call the charity on 0300 123 8181.