Lockdown makes backlog for rehoming working dogs

A charity that helps rehome retired working dogs says fewer people have been adopting due to the lockdown.

Natalie Smith set up the Retired Working Dogs charity in 2012 when she saw a need for farm dogs to find new homes, while working at a vet clinic.

Some are retired as they are older but some are young dogs who did not quite make the cut to work on the farm.

Ms Smith said it was normal for adoptions to drop off in the winter but lockdown had made things worse.

"For farmers, lockdown has been business as usual, really, so it hasn’t affected the dogs coming from farms, but it’s really affected the dogs we are able to rehome — we’ve had some dogs that have been in foster care for five months.

"People don’t adopt dogs during the winter, and then now we’ve had another lockdown. And so things are quite slow on the adoption front at the moment."

She said the trust has 18 dogs in foster care.

"That’s a lot for us as we don’t have a very big foster network, 95% of our foster homes are full."

There are 23 dogs also being advertised on behalf of farmers on the trust’s website.

"Things are getting better. We have a couple of dogs who have meet-and-greets coming up and now most of the country is in Level 2 we should see some more adoptions."

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