Re-homing charities have reported an increase in abandoned dogs as owners struggle to look after their animals in these times of economic hardship.

The problem is also thought to extend to the owners and breeders of working gundogs.

In a letter to Shooting Times, reader Cynthia Turvey of Northern English Springer Spaniel Rescue wrote: “It is becoming increasingly clear that people are abandoning their dogs due to changes in their finances and, more worryingly, it is evident that breeders are increasingly struggling to sell litters of puppies.”

“Yesterday we had our first real victims of the crisis when an entire litter of 12-week-old springer puppies, bred from working parents, were handed in because the breeder had failed to sell any and could no longer afford to feed them, let alone vaccinate them.”

Cherry Mitchell, of the Animal Rescue Charity in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, explained that they are running at full capacity at the moment. “We have more dogs now than ever before,” she said.

“The credit crunch is having a major impact on people’s ability to look after their dogs properly. Just last week, we had to take on an extra two dogs because their owner had been evicted from her house.”

The rest of this article appears in 16 October issue of Shooting Times.

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