An animal charity in Cambridgeshire has made extra provisions to help puppy owners deal with and overcome challenges they may face during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the last three years, Wood Green has offered capacity on site and across foster homes if owners are no longer able to care for their puppy when they reach their adolescent stage.
The charity’s behaviour and training specialists have also supported 53 people with dogs under two-years-old with problems including aggression, anxiety and separation issues during the last three months of 2020.
Linda Cantle, director of pet and owner support services at Wood Green, said: “Admitting that you need help or can no longer care for a pet is an incredibly difficult decision, but it should not be a source of shame or embarrassment.
“As much as we encourage people to do their research before getting a pet, there are often unforeseen challenges and sometimes it simply doesn’t work out.”
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Between October and December last year, Wood Green was contacted by 32 owners wanting to hand over dogs under a year old for behavioural, medical and lifestyle reasons.
One of those dogs was Mabel, a border collie who had bitten her vet through fear before joining one of Wood Green’s puppy training courses where her owner was given advice to continue training at home.
Mabel then received one-to-one support from a dog behaviour and training specialist, which transformed her behaviour in social situations.
However, some dogs like Teddy, a 12-week-old Shih Tzu cross Norfolk Terrier who was too energetic for another dog in the home, had to be given into Wood Green in December.
But after spending time in a foster home, Teddy was matched with new owners this month.
Ms Cantle added: “We encourage anyone struggling with a pet to contact Wood Green as soon as possible. We may be able to offer a solution through advice, behavioural support or financial support.
“We have the facilities, the capacity and the expertise to find them a new home – whether they are on site, in a foster home or stay with their original owner.”
For more information, call Wood Green on 0300 303 9333 or visit: https://woodgreen.org.uk/.