A dog rescue centre in Manchester has recently described itself as “the most depressing place on Earth” because of the amount of dogs being dumped. Rescue 4 Dogs, in Sharston, says that its phone line is ringing all day every day with people trying to leave their dogs due to worries about the cost of living.
Emma Billington, owner and manager of Rescue 4 Dogs said “In the last month, we have seen six dogs returned after we have homed them as people are worrying more about the cost following the puppy boom during COVID-19. Previously this level of return would only have happened across two or three years. It has never been like this and we need urgent help of people coming forward to foster them – we’ll cover any fees – but we need to free up spaces.”
Emma, who runs the site, is in tears most days because she is having to turn away dogs – knowing their fate when she puts down the phone.
Rescue 4 Dogs currently has 50 places – which are all full. Following a fundraiser, the charity has access to a new site which will open up a further 20 places immediately and will be fast-tracked to an additional 80.
However, because the centre is over capacity the staff cannot step away to set it up.
“We have a new site which will allow us to get open up 20 new places – which we’ll fast track to 80 places – but because nobody is taking any of our current dogs we haven’t got the capacity to get in and make it ready. We are pleading with everyone in the area to consider fostering our dogs, where we will cover any costs needed to help us.”
They are pleading with anyone who can to foster their dogs where Rescue 4 Dogs will pay for any costs, including vet bills. Emma says that dogs are social creatures and are better off in twos or threes and will keep each other busy.
When fostered the dogs come with leads which say “adopt me” and information packs that the charity says helps them to find their forever homes in communities more easily.
Doing this will allow the staff to get into the new site to open up more spaces in order to help more dogs.
“We believe that dogs are better in twos – they keep each other busy and entertained. If you have a dog already we have a matching service to make sure everyone gets on. We pay for any fees and also give you leads with ‘adopt me’ on which we know people see in their own communities – helping them find their forever homes.”
The emotional toll on staff at Rescue 4 Dogs is huge – they know that if they can’t take the dog its fate is very often already sealed. Recently, they had to turn away a four-month-old puppy and the owner had already talked about putting it down on the call.
The team is in tears most days and say they have never known anything like this before. They are simply hoping that the Manchester spirit will see people step in and help.
Emma continues “I love my job but this is the most depressing place on earth at the moment. It is utterly soul-destroying because we know that we are having to turn away dogs that are going to be killed because there is nowhere for them to go.
“I have to be honest – I broke the other day. We had to turn away a four-month-old puppy who I know would ordinarily be picked up soon. The reality is that I know that little boys’ fate and I feel like I am failing them.
“People are worried – and I just wish the Government would act. The main worry people seem to have now is the cost of living – if there were measures to help then I imagine we’d see fewer dogs being dumped and our phones would hopefully stop ringing. I’d like Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, or Liz Truss to come and spend a day here and take some of the gut-wrenching calls we are to snap them into doing something.”