The donation from Purina will help provide 101 dogs like Bella in RSPCA’s care with behavioural support.
The RSPCA’s team of behaviourists has received a generous donation of £50,000 from petcare company Purina.
The donation will help the behaviourist team at the RSPCA provide extra behavioural support for 101 dogs in the charity’s care.
Even before the pandemic, behaviour problems were the number one reason dogs were signed over to the RSPCA, which need to be overcome before they can look to find their new forever homes.
Dogs like Bella, for example - a lurcher X beagle, who came into the charity’s care having had four homes before she was seven months old, leaving her unsure and fearful.
Purina’s support for the RSPCA’s behaviourist team comes at a time when the charity fears training and socialisation may be needed now more than ever, with the surge in demand for pets meaning around 3.2 million households have added a new pet to their family during lockdown.
This means the charity is bracing for a rise in people needing to give up their pets or abandoned animals coming into its care.
Sarah Tapsell, one of the RSPCA’s regional clinical animal behaviourists, said: “We are worried that we will see a rise in abandoned and unwanted dogs once the restrictions start to ease and people return to offices later this year.
“Our lives have been very different over the pandemic which means that we’ve been able to spend more time with our pets than ever before but the concern is that once life goes back to normal, our dogs and especially younger dogs who have been bought during the pandemic, will struggle to adjust. Research suggests that eight in 10 dogs find being left home alone difficult, and some may exhibit behaviours associated with stress and anxiety, such as barking, toileting in the house, or being destructive.
“Sadly, this is when we see owners struggling to cope with their pets as they do not know how to support their dogs and may not be able to adjust their lifestyle to now match their dogs’ needs. This means we may have more dogs coming into our rescue centres who need behavioural support.”
Calum Macrae, Regional Managing Director for Purina UK&I, added: “Inspired by our core belief that people and pets are better together, and seeing the difference that the RSPCA can make to dogs who need some extra support, I am really thrilled that Purina can support the RSPCA to help 101 dogs find new homes.”