Bristol Rescue Center sees sharp increase in trapped dog behavior problems

Bristol’s leading pet rescue house has reported a surge in the number of dogs coming to them with behavioral issues – and said the Covid pandemic and the lockdown were almost certainly the reason.

Bristol Animal Rescue Center officials said nearly half of the dogs who came to see them in the first nine months of 2021 were showing signs of behavioral or management issues, and that’s “significantly more” than the dogs. previous years.

BARC is now launching a new fundraiser – not only to welcome unwanted or abandoned dogs, but also to pay for the training and therapy they now need.

READ MORE: The 14 weirdest animals you might see in Bristol

Jodie Hayward, head of the animal home at the Bristol Animal Rescue Center, said there were likely two reasons staff had seen a sharp increase in behavior problems among the dogs they housed.

She said Covid-19 presented many challenges for charities – with the double whammy of a decrease in donations and an increase in demand.

“From January to September 2021 alone, 44% of the dogs that entered were showing signs of behavioral or handling issues, which is significantly more than what we’ve seen in previous years,” Jodie said. “This could be due to a number of issues including the lack of socialization opportunities during the pandemic, or perhaps inexperienced pet owners getting dogs for the first time and not being aware of their needs. in training, but it is a problem and it is one that we are working hard to rectify.

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The center has highlighted one such case, that of a Rottweiler called Kevin.

“He came to see us scared, confused and with significant behavioral issues,” said a spokesperson for the Animal Rescue Center, which has welcomed unwanted animals from Bristol since 1887 and treats up to 7,000 animals each year.

“Kevin required a lot of care and training with our team of behaviorists and animal care specialists. Her program included work in front of the kennel, lead desensitization, obedience and muzzle training, cooperative care and, of course, learning to play and accept the affection of humans, ”she said. added.

Kevin has since found a happy home with a local couple, Kate Davey and Matty Merritt.

“Kevin has really settled in over the past six months with us and is now a much loved member of our family,” said Kate. “He is the most loving dog and we couldn’t be more grateful to Bristol ARC for all the hard work they put in to help him come out of his shell.”

Kevin, a dog who was rescued and recycled by the Bristol Animal Rescue Center
Kevin, a dog who was rescued and recycled by the Bristol Animal Rescue Center

For Jodie Hayward, Kevin is one of the success stories. “We are so proud of how far Kevin has come,” she said. “This is one of the many dogs we have worked with over the past year that have come up with these issues.”

People can donate to the Bristol ARC Christmas Appeal by donating online or by calling 01179 803 906 to donate over the phone (between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday).

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