CHARITIES in Dorset say they have seen a large increase in dogs needing new homes since lockdown restrictions have lifted.

Staffie and Stray Rescue currently have several larger breeds looking for a forever home but have received little to no interest.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “We get at least up to 40 calls a day and at least 10 to 12 of those are probably dogs needing to come in.

“I also get about 22 emails a week with regards to people looking to surrender their dogs and on top of that, we've had a lot more dogs coming into the pound as strays as well.

“A lot of the dogs are around a year to 18 months old, which does seem to fall in line with the pandemic, when people were looking to get dogs during that time.”

The charity has noticed that a lot of dogs that were bought during the pandemic have had very little socialisation with people and other dogs, which makes them harder to rehome.

The spokesperson said: "The thing we’re in most desperate needs of is foster homes, maybe people who are experienced in larger breeds, cause we have a good handful of dogs, that are in desperate need of a home."

Other charities in the area are also experiencing issues with the number of dogs needing to be rehomed and the lack of owners to rehome them.

A spokesperson from Margaret Green Animal Rescue at their Lincoln Farm Centre said: "We’ve actually had a lot of adult dogs bought in for rehoming that were bought online during the pandemic because they are cheaper than a puppy. After buying them, a lot of owners then realised that they have health problems so they’ve ended up coming to the centre because they can no longer look after them.

"This has caused costs for the charity financially as often these dogs need rehabilitation."

An example of two of the cases that the charity has experienced recently include two dogs that were left tied up with a piece of rope to a post and a dog that was abandoned with an eye injury and had to have an operation to have the eye removed.

The spokesperson said: "We’ve had some quite serious cases."

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