One in five families who rescued puppies in lockdown fear they can no longer look after them after returning to work


ONE in five families who rescued a puppy in lockdown fear they won’t be able to cope with their pet after returning to work.

Some are looking to offload animals via Facebook or Gumtree to claw back the cost. Prices for some dogs soared by almost 90 per cent in the lockdown period.

If you are struggling to look after a dog, contact Dogs Trust

According to the Kennel Club, 15 per cent of those who got a dog now admit they were not “ready” for it.

Pet rescues are seeing lockdown dogs handed in and a Dogs Trust study predicts that a recession could lead to 40,000 dogs being abandoned.

Dogs Trust’s Owen Sharp said: “In times of financial hardship, many people struggle to look after their pets and the number of abandoned dogs goes up.

We’ve taken dogs in from owners who have passed away from Covid-19 or been hospitalised. But the worst is yet to come.”

If you are struggling to look after a dog, contact Dogs Trust on 0300 303 2188. And you can support the group’s coronavirus appeal at

Pet Vet

HE is on a mission to help our pets  – and is here to answer YOUR questions. Sean, who is the head vet at tailored pet food firm, has helped with owners’ queries for ten years.

He says: “If your pet is acting funny or is under the weather, or you want to know about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”

Sean McCormack, head vet at, promises he can ‘help keep pets happy and healthy’


Q) MY terrier George hates it when people pick up their dogs. If he approaches another dog and the owner picks them up, he goes mad, jumping up.

It’s like he wants to protect these other dogs but their owners can find it very unsettling.

Do you know why this is? And what I can do to stop him?

Hannah Thomas, Leicester

Sean says: He might be jealous or he may be feeling protective.

My bet is on jealousy, though, and it is attention seeking rather than wanting to do any harm. Some dogs can snap when they get overexcited and appear to be losing their mind.

It is really important we don’t make a big thing of it and drive George to get even more excited.

Training him to accept other dogs being picked up while rewarding calm responses or ignoring the fact will work well with time. provides tailor-made nutritional food for pets provides tailor-made nutritional food for pets

Q) BENJI my rescue rabbit does a horrid thing when I approach his hutch. He spins round and wees at me.

It’s very unpleasant. Do you think he doesn’t like me?

Frank Hughes, Llandudno, North Wales

Sean says: Is Benji castrated? If not, I would highly recommend it. Urine spraying is a territorial marking behaviour and is most common in uncastrated male rabbits.

You don’t mention how long ago you rescued him but this type of behaviour would be more likely if he is in a new environment and not quite sure of you yet.

Try some bonding time outside the hutch and offer him some treats. He will begin to associate you with positive things and greet you when you appear . . . rather than raining on your parade.

Q) I HAVE a parrot that has learned to bark like a dog.

It was fine when I was at home with him but now I’ve gone back to work, my dog starts barking when the parrot barks. Now my neighbours have started to complain. How can I stop my parrot winding up my dog?

Sally Hannon, Coventry

Sean says: This problem is complex. To treat any behavioural issue in a pet, you need to understand their motivation for doing it, as well as their owner’s reaction and how it has been tackled so far.

The complication here is you have three different species — dog, parrot and human — all riling each other. I recommend contacting a qualified pet behaviourist. Try the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors’ website.

Q) MY cat Sasha seems determined to trip me up whenever I stand up to make a cup of tea. She weaves in front of me.

It’s not like I don’t give her attention — she is for ever on my lap. Do you think she’s just playing or could it be something more serious?

Brenda Miller, Wolverhampton

Sean says: This is a common behaviour. Sasha is probably either showing affection or seeking attention.

Remember, many owners would do anything to have such a loving cat.

You could try throwing a tasty treat across the room as you get up, or a fun toy if we need to watch her weight. Then go on your merry way.

Star of the week

BETSY really is the cat that got the cream.

Four years ago, telly exec Lawrence Page, 42, and wife Fay, 36, an event manager, found Betsy in a tree near their home in Dulwich, South London, hungry and covered in oil.

Betsy was rescued from a tree in South London
She loves home-cooked dinners and lots of cuddles

They took her to the Celia Hammond cat sanctuary in nearby Brockley.

Betsy had no microchip and no one claimed her so the couple adopted her.

Now she loves home-cooked dinners and lots of cuddles.

Lawrence said: “Betsy is tiny but she has such a big personality.

“She jumps up and licks us like a dog when we return home. She’s a very special cat.”

Betsy was voted Rescue Pet of the Year in the Petplan Pet Awards.

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