ANIMAL welfare charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is voicing concern that today’s throwaway society means pets are now being bought online on a whim, then discarded when their new owners change their mind days later.
It follows the case of a thirteen-week-old Chihuahua puppy who was purchased online and then given up to the charity by her owners after just four days.
The puppy, named Coco, was an impulse purchase and her owners quickly realised they didn’t have the time to train and look after the young puppy.
Becky Lodder, Dog Intake Manager at Battersea, said:
“It’s good that Coco’s former owners did the responsible thing and brought her into Battersea when they realised they didn’t have the time to care for her. However, this story highlights the growing problem with people buying new pets impulsively online.
“These days you can purchase a pet as easily as a new watch or a handbag. The ability to buy an animal with a single click can make it tempting to make rash decisions, without properly thinking through the practicalities and responsibilities that come with pet ownership.”
So far this year, Battersea has seen more than 280 dogs, and cats come through their doors that were initially brought online.
Becky Lodder continues: “Many animals bought online end up homeless because their owner realises they aren’t prepared for everything that pet ownership involves, or because their dog or cat has developed unexpected medical or behavioural issues which weren’t mentioned in the advert. Though we would always advise that rescue is best, those that do decide to buy a pet elsewhere should do plenty of research first, think things through carefully, and only buy from reputable sources.”
Luckily, Coco has found her happy ending after being adopted from Battersea by Deborah Hall from South East London.
Coco’s new owner Deborah Hall says that the young Chihuahua has quickly made a big difference to her family:
“We came to Battersea looking for a pet to love and Coco has already given us more than we could imagine. She’s become important for the whole family. My daughter has severe anxiety and has never wanted to leave the house by herself, but now she’s taking the dog for walks and talking to people when they ask about Coco.
“Coco is so inquisitive about all of us, and she watches us to learn the things we do. She’s a perfect girl and has settled in amazingly quickly.”
If you’re interested in rehoming a Battersea dog or cat, please visit www.battersea.org.uk.