Dog rescue sector 'at breaking point' charity says

A dog being given a treat through a cage
Greyhound Gap in Kidsgrove is struggling to find enough people to re-home its dogs [BBC]

The founder of a dog rescue centre has said she is no longer able to keep up with demand.

Lisa Cartwright set up Greyhound Gap in Kidsgrove, Staffordshire, two decades ago, and currently houses 70 dogs. She said charities like hers were now "all at breaking point".

She said there were a number of issues, including over-breeding, a lack of regulation and there was "no appetite for re-homing at the moment".

Ms Cartwright warned that if the numbers of dogs being given up did not reduce "we are going to see a mass cull of dogs in the UK".

An extra 3.2m households across the UK bought a pet between 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic, with many taking the opportunity to get a dog while working from home.

The subsequent cost-of-living crisis meant owners struggled to buy pet food and cover medical bills including simple treatments.

Ms Cartwright said she believes people have re-homed as many dogs as they can and she was seeing councils being forced to put stray dogs to sleep, to keep on top of the numbers.

"We're in a worse position than we've ever been, it does make me question what I am doing," she said.

Vanessa Rigby, a volunteer at Greyhound Gap said: "I don't think you can blame it all now on Covid.

"We're four years on from Covid and the dogs that are coming in aren't four years old."

She said the cost of living crisis could have led to an increase in the number of dogs being given up.

The RSPCA said it got called out to help more than 14,000 abandoned and neglected dogs across the country last year - a rise of 25% on the previous 12 months.

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