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Shocking number of dogs being ditched post-lockdown

(Adobe Stock)

Llanharan based dog rescue charity, Hope Rescue, is calling for local support following a sharp increase in the number of dogs arriving into their care since lockdown lifted.

The compulsory time at home throughout lockdown temporarily introduced the perfect scenario to adopt a dog: schools closed, long office hours were erased from memory, and local parks became a sanctuary for much-needed time in nature.

As restrictions have eased the charity is now reporting that some owners have found having a dog doesn’t fit into their ‘normal’ life. Hope Rescue has even seen an increase in the number of ‘fake’ strays handed in directly or to vets – many of which suffer from complicated medical needs. Although these dogs may have been adopted with the best intentions, many new owners have struggled to cope.

Puppy farming continues to be a problem in Wales following the increased demand for a dog during lockdown — fueling the already skyrocketing numbers of puppy farms on the market at Christmastime. After the recent raid on an illegal farm in Carmarthenshire at which over 200 dogs were rescued, 47 dogs including puppies, pregnant and newly mothered were taken into Hope Rescue’s care. Local rescue centers stepped up to care for the remaining dogs.

To raise funds to protect these animals, on Sunday 12  December Hope Rescue Dogs Charity will host a Christmas Moonlit Walk, taking place along the three-mile circular path starting at Whitmore Bay in Barry. The team and their supporters hope the event will generate vital funds to cover vets’ bills, food, heating, and care for these abandoned dogs in need of a forever home.

Vanessa Waddon, Hope Rescue founder, said: “The past 18 months has been especially difficult for all of us, and we find ourselves in a new level of crisis. Many of the dogs entering our care have medical or behavioural needs, often both.

“This, combined with the recent intake from the puppy farm, means that we are working at an extremely high capacity. Of course, high capacity comes with its own financial challenges through vet bills and supplies for those dogs who desperately need our care.

“Our Christmas Moonlit Walk will raise funds which we need now more than ever. It’s about more than taking a stroll by the sea under starlight – we’d love for all dog owners to join us in supporting the dogs who need Hope the most.”

Four (and three) legged friends of the community are encouraged to bring their humans to experience a starlit walk —with a paw-puse. The event will be an opportunity to meet with some of the Hope Rescue volunteers who have been on the frontline of dog rescue during the pandemic, and to raise much-needed funds for the dogs who would be otherwise left out in the cold this Christmas.

All proceeds raised at The Christmas Moonlit Walk will go towards supporting the dogs in Hope Rescue’s care this winter — with more expected to be needing help and hope from the charity in the coming months.