So-called ‘designer’ dogs are appearing more and more in rehoming centres, the RSPCA says.
The charity found homes for nearly 7,700 dogs last year and, while Staffies and their crosses are still the most rescued type, designer dogs are starting to figure more frequently.
As part of the RSPCA’s rehoming drive, Adoptober, new statistics have been released showing that, while pure-breed and crossbreed Staffies, lurchers, Jack Russell terriers and German shepherds are still the most common dog to come into its care, more trendy ‘handbag’ breeds and fashionable crossbreeds are also ending up in the charity’s 17 national animal centres.
The number of Chihuahuas coming into the charity’s care has gone up by 700% in the last seven years (14 in 2012 to 112 in 2018), while the number of French bulldogs is up 236%, dachshunds are up 600% and pomeranians are up 440%.
The charity is also seeing more crossbreeds and breeds used for popular crosses – such as cocker spaniels and poodles – arriving in its centres as inspectors shut down puppy farms and collect abandoned dogs and puppies.
Last year, the RSPCA says it rescued 5,930 dogs from abuse and neglect in England and received 1,175,193 calls to its 24-hour cruelty hotline about animals nationally. The charity’s branches and centres across England and Wales rehomed 7,692 dogs – that’s 21 dogs every day!
RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “Although Staffies, lurchers, Jack Russell terriers and German shepherds are still the most common dogs coming into our centres, we are seeing a general decrease in their numbers while seeing an increase in the number of fashionable crossbreeds and so-called designer dogs like Dachshunds and French bulldogs arriving in our care.
“We know that the animals coming into our care tend to reflect general dog ownership trends and there’s been a huge surge in recent years in people buying ‘designer dogs’ and crossbreeds such as cavachons, puggles and cockerpoos.
“As part of our rehoming drive this October – called Adoptober – we want to shine a light on all of the dogs in our care and encourage people to adopt a rescue dog instead of buying a puppy. All the animals in our care have a lot of love to give and we have a huge variety of dogs in our kennels waiting for homes, of all ages, shapes, sizes and breeds.”