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● Celebrities including Sarah Jayne Dunn, Pete Wicks, Charlotte Hawkins, Peter Egan and Jorgie Porter back UK’s first ever National Dog Adoption Day (25th October) campaign to debunk myths about rescue dogs and encourage people to do their research before getting a dog

● Animal shelters at breaking point - more than half (56 per cent) say more dogs than ever being abandoned by owners, revealing true cost of dog abandonment (Yorkshire and Wales top list as most expensive regions for rescues to be based)

● Relationships, moving homes, new babies and puppies growing into adult sized dogs tops list of most common reasons dogs given up

New research from and Animal Friends Insurance has found that animal rescues are at breaking point in 2019 as more than half (56 per cent)1 say more dogs than ever are being abandoned, with an increasing number of dogs being abandoned and left to stray.

In ever-increasing numbers, a quarter of UK animal rescues (24 per cent) are reporting that dogs are being given up to shelters because they have been purchased as puppies and don’t keep the ‘cute factor’ when they grow into adult-sized dogs.

According to the dog adoption site, almost half (45 per cent) of animal rescues believe there is a worrying disconnect between people getting a dog and understanding the responsibilities involved in being a dog owner.

The Most Common Reasons Dogs Are in Rescue Shelters

1. Relationship split
2. Dog abandoned (i.e. straying, no owners present)
3. Moving home
4. Owner did not understand the responsibilities of pet ownership (i.e. dog growing into an adult dog)
5. New babies in the home (or owner pregnant at the time of giving the dog up)
6. Owner passed away
7. Bought a dog from a puppy farm or social media
8. No time for the dog

The Most Shocking Reasons Dogs Are in Rescue Shelters

1. “the dog didn’t stay the size of a puppy”
2. “the dog barked”
3. “the dog was licking its paws”
4. “the kids no longer wanted it”
5. “I wanted to go on holiday with my new partner”

The Very Real Cost of Dog Abandonment: What It Costs Rescues to Care for Dogs Around the UK

As a result of dogs being left to fend for themselves before being taken into a rescue’s care, a rising number of dogs in rescue need to be nursed back to health before they can be adopted by new families, with seven in 10 shelters reporting rising costs in vets fees over the last two years.

Shelters admit to spending on average £250 (per dog), with almost two in 10 spending twice as much to bring a dog back to health.

UK Region - Cost of caring for abandoned dogs (per dog)

North East England - £201-300
North West England - £201-300
East Midlands - £50-100
West Midlands - £50-100
Yorkshire - £400+
South East England - £201-300
South West England - £201-300
London - £201-300
Scotland - £50-100
Wales - £400+

Celebrities Team up to Help Launch UK’s First National Dog Adoption Day

As the UK prepares for its first ever National Dog Adoption Day, celebrities are teaming up to share their stories and inspire others to consider adopting a dog this October using the hashtag #nationaldogadoptionday

The goal of National Dog Adoption Day (25th October 2019) is to give support to animal shelters across the UK by promoting the concept of dog adoption while sharing stories of some special dogs in rescue currently looking for new homes.

Almost 95 per cent of shelters blame owners being inspired by social media trends to impulsively purchase a dog without understanding the responsibilities of owning one.

In a bid to turn the tide, celebrities including Sarah Jayne Dunn, Pete Wicks, Charlotte Hawkins, Peter Egan and Jorgie Porter have joined forces to support National Dog Adoption Drive on 25th October.

Hollyoaks actress Sarah Jayne Dunn explained why she’s getting behind the campaign.

“I love being a mummy to Ming Ming, in all honesty, I think she set me up nicely for being a mummy to my little boy Stanley. She’s a wonderful dog, full of love, charm, personality and fun. She was incredibly easy to train (very food driven) and has been the most patient and perfect companion for our little boy, he calls her his best friend.

“I’m so happy to be involved in National Dog Adoption Day, I think it’s a brilliant way to spread the word about adopting a dog and it’s benefits and why it’s something you should definitely consider if you’re planning on getting a dog. It’s the most special privilege to be able to offer a loving dog a forever home, to open your arms and heart to all the love and companionship that they can bring and to help discourage illegal breeding and horrendous puppy farms.”

Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Akitas and Greyhounds are the three most-common breeds abandoned by owners.
Often overlooked because of their breed and coat colour, Sarah Jayne Dunn plans to take time out of her filming schedule to meet Bluebell, an 11-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier (one of the most abandoned dog breeds in the UK) in Liverpool who has been overlooked by potential families for over 10 years.

Bluebell’s carers at Freshfields Animal Rescue in Liverpool say, “Bluebell has been adopted twice in the past but was returned to us both times for the same reason – taking a while to settle in, so she has spent almost all of her life in rescue and is overlooked because of her breed and colour. Which is a massive shame because she is a bit of a diva with a huge personality.”

“Having a dog is a full time, long commitment that you should be well prepared for, but as long as you’ve done all your research and financial calculations and you know that you're in the right position to make that commitment, then it is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing you can do and it’s one of the best decisions we ever made”, Sarah added.

Former professional dog trainer and National Dog Adoption Day co-founder Ryan O’Meara concluded:

“We are hoping National Dog Adoption Day encourages people to consider adopting a dog and to see most dogs, like Bluebell, end up in rescue as a result of circumstances, not of their own making. But also like Bluebell, some can stay in rescue for a long time waiting for their new owners to find then.

“With the school holidays approaching, we want to encourage anyone thinking about getting a dog to consider adopting a dog because the right dog will be out there for them, most likely sitting in a shelter somewhere right now hoping that today is their lucky day.”

-- Ends --
For further details, please contact:

Kim O’Meara
07903 410421

Interview opportunities are available with and National Dog Adoption Day co-founder Ryan O’Meara. Filming opportunities on 25th October at an animal rescue centre in Nottinghamshire.

Further statistics, such as most outlandish reasons dogs have been abandoned also available to the media.

Regional case studies available of overlooked dogs looking for new homes.

Dropbox link available including images and quotes of celebrity ambassadors and case studies of overlooked dogs currently looking for new homes here:

1 Study carried out by among 600 animal rescues between January-September 2019

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