Research recently released have highlighted that in the last year, over two thirds (67%) of animal rescue centres in the UK have seen an increase in the number of abandoned dogs.

The research, conducted by dog adoption site and its sponsor, highlights the common causes of dog abandonment and the pressures now faced by animal rescue homes.

Highlighting the extent of the problem, almost a fifth of the rescue centres reporting an increase in the number of abandoned dogs over the past year say that the number of animals taken in by them for this reason has doubled.

Other rescues are also experiencing the strain of significant increases too. 13% say they have seen a 30% increase whilst more than one in ten rescues (12%) have seen the number of abandoned dogs rise by a quarter.

Also concerning is that almost three quarters of animal rescues which have seen an increase in abandonment say that the number of dogs coming to them as a direct result of owner negligence has risen since 2013. A third state that they had taken the same number of dogs in as they did last year and none of the centres reported seeing an improvement.


Bobbie, pictured above, is looking for a new home. Click her image to find out more


According to further findings from the research, over half (56%) of UK rescue centres believe that the main reasons for dog abandonment is due to a lack of education about dog ownership. Other prevalent reasons include a reluctance of owners to work through their dogs problems (50%) such as training issues once their dog comes home and dogs being abandoned due to owners being unable to manage the costs of keeping them (11%).

Other common reasons for dogs being taken in by rescue centres include:

  • Lack of nourishment – is to blame for almost one third (29%) of dogs being taken in.
  • Failure to treat pets’ health problems is another cause for concern for almost one third (29%) of rescue centres.
  • Abuse – over one tenth of rescue centres (12%) stated that dogs end up in their care following reports of abuse.

Ryan O’Meara, co-founder of the adoption site said: “The statistics we uncovered in our latest research show worrying trends. The continual rise of dogs being abandoned is, sadly, something we and the hundreds of rescues across the country have gotten used to. But the rising trends of dogs coming into rescue after being mistreated is something we shouldn’t get used to. “We hope we can not only debunk the myths about dogs in rescues being damaged goods, but help to educate new and would be dog owners on the responsibilities of bringing a dog into the family.”

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