Dog charity in crisis as cost of living impacts adoptions

A DONEGAL dog charity has said they are in crisis as they have reached capacity and unlike during covid, there is no demand to adopt dogs in the county.

Doreen Russell from Donegal Rescue Dogs told the Donegal News that they have come to a standstill; they cannot take in any unwanted dogs at present because their three premises are full.

The charity is appealing to the public to consider neutering their dogs to tackle the rise in unwanted puppies which are being surrendered or dumped.


Usually at this time of year it is unwanted ‘Christmas puppies’ that are filling up the kennels of charities across the country. But Ms Russell explained that is not the case anymore and that instead the charity is inundated with ‘covid dogs’.

She went on to explain that people who bought new dogs during lockdown are now deciding they no longer want them, so they’re being surrendered to the shelter.

“During covid you couldn’t get a puppy, now we have gone to the other extreme and nobody wants a dog,” she explained.
Ms Russell highlighted that the rising cost of living has had a knock on effect on adoptions, people want to adopt but unfortunately “nobody can really afford a dog anymore”.

Vaccines, vet bills and micro chipping are the more obvious expenses associated with owning a dog, but the basics have also increased, Ms Russell used the example of dog food, which she said has now doubled in price.

Another issue Ms Russell highlighted was the lack of pet friendly properties in Donegal, as many landlords in the county do not accept dogs.

This is then exacerbated by the complete lack of rental accommodation across the county; pet owners who need to move then have limited options and are left to make the difficult decision to surrender their dogs.

Donegal Rescue Dogs have also started a page on Facebook called ‘Dogs for rehoming via the public’, where people can post photos of dogs to be rehomed instead of surrendering them to the charity, their goal was to take pressure off their service.


“We are here to help the dogs but unfortunately no rescue could physically rescue every dog because there’s so many of them and no demand to adopt them,” said Ms Russell.

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Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland