Saturday, 28 November 2015

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Cumbrian animal refuge swamped with abandoned dogs

Dogs are being abandoned in north Cumbria in unprecedented numbers, say staff at the Wetheral Animals Refuge near Carlisle.

The charity has just come through one of its busiest ever festive periods but there has been no let-up in the numbers of dogs – including puppies – which are being thrown out on to the streets by their owners.

The refuge is currently caring for around 70 unwanted dogs – compared to 40 at the same time last year.

All manner of breeds are currently being cared for, including terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, lurchers and even a labradoodle.

Catherine Brookes, the charity’s acting animal welfare supervisor, said: “We were very busy over Christmas, and we’re still busy.

“It’s a huge increase compared to last year – almost unprecedented. There’s nobody here who has ever known it this busy.

“We’ve had several puppies brought in over the last few weeks, including some which we believe were bought for Christmas and then they’ve realised the implications.”

Catherine said she does not blame the surge in unwanted dogs on the current economic downturn, pointing out that many people on very restricted incomes continue to care properly for their pets.

She said: “Every dog comes in with its own unique set of circumstances.

“People don’t generally put enough time, and care, and consideration into getting a dog beforehand. A lot are bought on whim.”

Some of the dogs being cared for at the refuge are thinner than they should be but all now have a chance of finding a loving home.

The charity has a thorough re-homing procedure, which includes an interview and home visit.

The refuge is currently also caring for 30 cats and 40 horses and ponies. With so many animals to care for, the charity urgently needs bedding and is appealing for donations of blankets, duvets and towels.

To find out more about adopting a rescue dog or cat call the refuge on 01228 560082. To see more, log on the refuge website at


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