Loyalty? Protection? Or just plain adorableness? Millions of us have our very own four-legged addition to the family, sometimes even two or three! With 24% of UK households owning at least one canine, that already gives us a pet population of around 8.5 million dogs, but do you ever wonder why dogs are such popular pets? The moult, poop and chew your favourite trainers. But all these little niggles haven't stopped us from evolving into dog lovers, and with World Animal Day being upon us, now is the perfect time to talk about why that can be so great, and in some cases not so great at all.
The Pet Food Manufactures Association have put together a handy chart to show just how many pets the UK own as a whole. Looking at dogs in particular, the chart shows that us in the North - East have the second highest percentage of household dogs weighing in at 37% only being beaten by Northern Ireland with a percentage of 41%. With around 58.4 million pets as a whole, that is certainly a lot of dogs. So why is it that so many of these precious creatures live lives of neglect and suffering when others are loved and cherished so dearly? Thankfully there are organizations committed to helping those less fortunate hounds.
The infinite amount of love a dog has for its owner is what makes the unthinkable subject of animal abuse all the more heartbreaking. Hundred of thousands of innocent dogs are abandoned and neglected in the UK alone each year. Thankfully we have organizations like the RSPCA working around the clock to ensure every defenseless pup can be given a second chance at life, with the loving owners they deserve and long for. RSPCA inspectors investigate as many as 150,000 complaints of cruelty and neglect each year, which makes you wonder which species are the real animals here?
Now, you ask yourselves, what happens to all of those heartbroken hound dogs? Last year, the RSPCA rescued and collected 128,209 animals and managed to re-home just 53,263. That leaves well under half of the dogs that were rescued were unable to be rehomed, and for what reason? Is it because some people are too proud to take in somebody's abandoned pet? More families should definitely consider rescuing and rehoming animals from shelters. These poor creatures don't want to be alone. They need somebody to love and care for. What is to say that the person they dream is coming to rescue them can't be you?
Other organizations such as Dogs Trust are passionate about rehoming rescued animals. Founded in 1891, Dogs Trust is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK, caring for around 16,000 dogs each year, doing their very best to find them new homes to go to through a network of 20 nationwide rehoming centers. Dogs Trust also offer educational classes to schools to show the reality of animal abuse and help with stray dog problems through regional neutering campaigns. Dogs Trust are doing their part in all of this, all you need to do is do yours.
So, still thinking about buying that puppy from the local pet shop? If you think yourself up to it then go right ahead, give that little guy a loving home and family. Just remember dog owning is no walk in the park (pun intended). Owning a dog is far from easy, but it's worthwhile. An extra pair of eyes around the house, a loyal loving companion, or the most adorable fuzz ball ut doesn't matter. Just treat them right. They deserve that much.
Follow the link below to see what some Sunderland dog owners have to say about their most cherished pets whilst on a beautiful walk at Roker beach!