The coronavirus crisis has had a massive impact on the whole world and animal charities are no exception.
Blue Cross, which finds homes for unwanted pets and helps owners who cannot afford private vet treatment, has been heavily impacted by the pandemic.
They have missed out on vital funds after being forced to close their charity shops and cancel fundraising events.
And with the continuing financial uncertainty, the charity expects many more pets will be in need of their help. During lockdown, they saw a a huge rise in the number of people looking to take on a dog, with a 515% increase in applications in May 2020 compared with May last year.
While lockdown could have been a great opportunity for those who were already planning to take on a pet, others may have got one on a whim and not thought about the future.
This could result in later abandonment. Worse still, unscrupulous sellers have been taking advantage of the huge demand for pets and soaring prices – selling sick puppies to unsuspecting new owners.
Heartbroken dog digs grave for her dead puppy after trying to revive it
There are also concerns about behavioural issues in dogs. Puppies taken on during lockdown have missed out on everyday life and a normal routine and may struggle when their owners return to work. If owners cannot cope, dogs may be abandoned.
That’s why today your animal-loving Daily Star is launching a competition with Blue Cross to raise funds to help pups like Basil. And best of all, YOUR dog could be the cover star of our new calendar and win a load of goodies.
Ryan Neile, Head of Behaviour at Blue Cross, says: “Many dogs have been an absolute lifeline to their owners through the lockdown period and we should never underestimate the strength of the people-pet bond.
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"But, sadly animals are abandoned also when people realise that sharing your life with a dog is a lot more responsibility than they were prepared for.
"That is why it is so important people do their research and never impulse purchase a pet. We are very grateful to the Daily Star for raising awareness, helping raise money for Blue Cross and for celebrating the pets we all love.”
Upload a photo of your dog to appear in our 2021 Star Paws calendar – you could win a holiday!
The Daily Star and Blue Cross are on a mission to find 12 doggie calendar stars for our Star Paws 2021 charity calendar.
Our 12 stars will win doggie welcome packs full of treats, toys courtesy of Blue Cross, plus a £10 voucher for Dapperpets.co.uk and a Pet Safe Kibble Chase™ Roaming Treat Dispenser, plus there's a grand prize up for grabs of an Away Resorts holiday for up to four people and two dogs.
Click here now to upload your dog's best snap and you could be a winner!
Can you help find these four-legged furry friends a home?
The black-and-tan miniature Dachshund came into the care of Blue Cross in July after his owner admitted to buying him on impulse from a website.
They had him for just one week before contacting Blue Cross for help to rehome him.
They admitted they hadn’t researched the breed or breeder, and just missed having a dog.
Basil went to his new owner Nicky Harper in Bromsgrove, Worcs, in August and is now firm pals with Nicky’s other dog, an 18-month-old miniature Schnauzer named Percy.
Nicky says: “I’ve never rescued a dog before but it’s been a really fantastic experience. Basil is already part of the family and we love him to bits.
“And Percy just adores him – they sleep in the same bed, play together and share food bowls.”
Blue Cross also helped American Bulldog Zion, who came in right at the start of lockdown, aged 11 weeks.
He was bought on a website and given up after just three days as his new owner found him too much.
Zion was a typical puppy in need of experienced owners who could cope with a large breed and work on training with him as he grew. He went into a foster home during lockdown before going to his new home in May.
New owner Merissa Solway says: “Zion, now known as Rocco, is doing wonderfully and is a very happy boy. He’s brought so much love back into our home.”
But there are still plenty of dogs in need, like Harvey and Lady, right. If you think you can give a dog a home, visit bluecross.org.uk.
Breed: Whippet, Jack Russell Terrier
A bit about me: I am a lovable chap who likes to spend time with my human friends, especially if they make a fuss of me!
I will make a great companion in the home but my new owner will need to be understanding outside as I can find walking around other dogs a little difficult.
For this reason, I will need to be your only pet. I have been in a foster home during lockdown.
Could you give me a new home in time for Christmas?
Love dogs as much as us? Take part in our survey to let us know
Can't see this survey? Click here
Location: Thirsk, North Yorkshire
A bit about me: I am an ex-racing greyhound looking for a retirement home. I would love a quiet home with a comfortable spot on the sofa.
I would prefer not to live with young children and will need to be the only pet as other dogs are quite frightening for me. I’m easy to care for and low maintenance, so if you’re looking for someone to chill out with then I might just be the one for you!
To donate to Blue Cross, go to bluecross.org.uk/dailystar.
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