Dorset animal shelter taking in record number of dogs ahead of Christmas

Jake Saunders
Image caption,Senior animal rescue carer Jake Saunders said most of the dogs at the centre come in as strays

A Dorset animal rescue said it has seen a record number of dogs coming in to its centre ahead of Christmas.

Margaret Green Animal Rescue, in Church Knowle, said it had seen a “continual increase” in unclaimed stray dogs via the local authority throughout 2023.

In October alone, it said it took in 35 new dogs – more than one for every day of the month.

Lucy Morgan, from the charity, said the cost of living crisis following Covid lockdowns “became the perfect storm”.

Lucy Morgan
Image caption,Lucy Morgan says she believes pet owners are struggling with costs

She said: “You had the cost-of-living crisis, many, many dogs were bought during lockdown and people’s circumstances have changed now, people can’t necessarily afford vet bills.

“Everything has come together to create this perfect storm where there are so many dogs that do now need to be handed over to organisations like ours for us to rehome them.”

The charity’s Harriet Uren added: “We’ve been extremely busy all year, to be honest, we’ve really seen an increase in the number of animals coming into our care right throughout the year, and I that’s just going to continue as we go through the festive period into the New Year.”

Harriet Uren
Image caption,Harriet Uren thinks the rise in animals coming in to the shelter will continue into next year

Senior animal rescue carer Jake Saunders said most of the dogs at the centre come in as strays and he is fostering one over Christmas “just to give [her] a little bit of respite from the kennels”.

He explained pooch Ceceilia “went to the emergency vet with one eye removed, the other eye was also damaged beyond repair so that was removed as well, so she is completely blind”.

Mr Saunders said he wanted to make sure the dog is “happy and all comfy and warm over Christmas”, adding: “It’s non-stop [at the centre] over Christmas.”

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