More Than A Third Of Dogs Abandoned Last Year Still Looking For New Homes

Economic reasons, family break-ups and an increased volume of dogs being given up cause dog rehoming concerns.

A recent study of 300 rescue centres in the UK has raised concerns about the prospects of abandoned dogs finding new, permanent loving homes. More than 35% of dogs abandoned in 2011 are still waiting to be rehomed as economic conditions and the volume of dogs in rescue shelters take their toll on Britain’s animal welfare sector.

Aside from financial reasons, relationship break-ups are the main reasons UK’s dogs are being given up, but there is a glimmer of hope which has been sadly lacking in previous years.

Encouragingly, over half (56%) of 1,277 dog owners surveyed wouldn’t consider a dog who’s been in a rescue centre for six months or more a problem dog, according to the recent survey carried out on behalf of Churchill Pet Insurance by UK dog adoption site, In the past dogs who’ve been in rescue homes for more than six months have remained there because would-be dog owners have had concerns about how they would fit into their home.

Pete Bishenden, spokesperson for Churchill Pet Insurance, said: “It’s worrying that so many pets are being housed in rescue centres because owners are struggling to cope. However, it seems that more prospective dog owners are willing, and would even prefer, to take in a rescue dog. Over 90% of dog lovers know about the problems dogs in rescue centres face and are aware of how many dogs are currently waiting for new homes. As a result, more would-be dog owners than in previous years are investigating adopting a dog.”

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“Sadly, the number of dogs seeking new, loving homes from Britain’s rescue shelters is making it almost mission impossible for the UK’s already over-stretched animal welfare organisations. Whilst donations and funding for the welfare sector are as important as ever, the only real, long-term solution to the problems are for more dog lovers to consider adopting a dog rather than buying from breeders. We are facing a tipping point. As more dogs are being bred every day, the consequences of Britain’s dog population problem are being felt in rescue organisations and healthy, loving dogs are losing their chance at a happy life with a loving family.”

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Jasmine Kleine

Jasmine Kleine

Jasmine Kleine is the the online editor at She is an experienced dog owner and professional writer who lives with her two beloved dogs, Mabel and Charlie.


  1. Both my dogs are second hand. Our labrador x collie was given to us by a friend who felt that her temperament would suit her family (how true) and our collie was from a local rescue when she was nine weeks old. They are great dogs and I would definitely have rescue dogs again.

  2. wish something could be done to limit the number of dogs being bred in the first place. I fully appreciate that a shelter animal is in need of a loving home but these dogs are often bought from breeders in the first place. once a dog is born – it deserves and needs a loving home. Puppy farms are just part of the problem but the sheer numbers being born each year is where the problem starts.

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