The DSPCA reported that they have seen a 40% rise in the increase of older dogs being abandoned in County Dublin. The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals works in rehabilitating and rehoming all kinds of animals and attributes the rise in older dog abandonment to a number of factors.
As quoted by the Independent, Gillian Bird, DSPCA spokeswoman explained that:
“Sadly, there are people who don’t want their dogs when they get older, often when they become smelly or sick or become blind or deaf or develop cancers and the owners may be scared off by the prospect of bills for treatments”
Another reason to explain this rise is the fact that elderly people were the ones most vulnerable to Covid-19. This led to a higher number of deaths among this population and unfortunately saw higher level of elderly dogs being abandoned, as families simply won’t take in the dog or there is no family to take the dog.
The DSPCA offered some advice for people who are have an elderly dog in their care:
Firstly, Make sure that you bring them to the vet on a regular basis, and insure that all their deworming, defleaing and vaccinations are all up to date. The second piece of advice is to keep them active with regular gentle exercise, that is suitable for the dog. Finally, make sure that what they are eating is also suitable for them. Many dog food brands make food that caters to older dogs dietary needs.
The DSPCA have urged those who can, to rehome an older dog to help with the rise.
I had a chance to meet with Gillain Bird to discuss these abandonments in greater detail and find out how the DSPCA is dealing with it.