Dogs adopted, then dumped after COVID as workers return to office

Hugh Gent, President of Dogs Australia with his wife Elizabeth, a Labrador breeder, with Lucy, an 18 month old Labrador. Credit:James brickwood

A spokesperson for the RSCPA said it had not seen an increase in the number of pandemic pets returned. A spokesperson said that while some dogs were bought by people on impulse, its doors were always open to help and help the dog find the right home.

But Monika Biernacki, the founder of a refuge without killing Monika’s Doggie Rescue in Ingleside, said she was at full capacity. She now has 100 dogs and other foster dogs.

“People are going back to work and all the unloading starts to happen,” said Ms Biernacki who receives frequent calls from books asking her to house dogs.

She also deals with dogs dumped by members of the public who bought expensive designer dogs without worrying about recurring costs or their temperament.

“A lady bought a puppy in COVID-19, a designer dog, a cross between a border collie and a poodle, and she couldn’t cope with it. It was too much energy, ”she said.

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Dog breeder Hugh Gent.

Ms Biernacki said the shelter vet was also caring for a German Shepherd puppy who was having seizures. The owner couldn’t pay his vet bills. “When she got off the vet, she didn’t even want to pay for the drugs. And she checked it in the pound, ”Ms. Biernacki said.

“People don’t think about it,” she said.

Usually at this time of year, members of the public visit the shelter and seek to adopt a rescue dog. But this year, people were escaping Sydney or staying at home due to COVID.

To encourage future dog owners to think more carefully about their purchases, Dogs Australia will launch a campaign in February to help consumers with videos, guides to different breeds and a quiz to help select the best dog. The new consumer website, a non-profit site, is managed by the Australian National Kennel Council, which Gent has run for 20 years.

Since their emigration to Australia in 1969, Mr and Mrs Gent have become the deans of the dog world. She is a champion of Labrador breeding, and Mr. Gent is a former vice-chair of the Companion Animal Working Group under Australia’s federally sponsored Animal Care Strategy, and director of the Australian Companion Animal Council. Mr Gent was also an ambassador for Pal dog food when he launched his campaign in which top breeders recommended his dog food.

Mr Gent said the new website will encourage potential dog owners to consider the three Rs: “The right time, the right breed and the right breeder.”

“So many dogs end up putting on pounds… people think ‘beautiful dog’, then six months later the dog Jimmy is about two meters tall and one meter wide. And they say, “This is not what I wanted”.

Mr. Gent scours Gumtree in search of crooks, backyard breeders, puppy farms and dog club members, not doing the right thing by breeding their dogs too often. It checks for fake breeder registration numbers and fake microchips. Often they can have too few or too many digits. Under New South Wales regulations, you must microchip a dog and register its number on the NSW Pet Registry. But many crooks will add the microchip, but not register the number.

Registered pedigree breeders agree to limit the number of times a female dog can breed, but many dogs from Gumtree sellers have frequent litters. And dogs were often sold to buyers, sometimes shipped overnight, without verification by either party.

Often, these dogs are bred for color or attractiveness, breeding in genetic abnormalities, he said.


In contrast, purebred dogs were often less expensive than those found on Gumtree and have a documented history.

“You can have your caboodle and all of these dogs, but you don’t know their history,” he said.

In contrast, the Pope this week denounced couples who choose to own a dog instead of having children. “A lot of couples don’t have children because they don’t want them, or they only have one – but they have two dogs, two cats … Yes, dogs and cats are taking the place of children. children, ”he said.

“Yes, it’s funny, I understand, but it’s reality. And this denial of paternity or maternity diminishes us, it takes away our humanity ”, declared the Pope.

Mr Gent said if he has what he wants every Australian should have a dog – provided the decision is well documented. Dogs add wealth to your life. “The problem with Labradors is that they’ll give you back as much as you give them.”

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