Owners in UK Offload Dogs Bought in Lockdown by Pretending They Are Strays


People are pretending that dogs they acquired during lockdown are strays so that rescue centres take them in, after failing to sell them online, animal rescue charities and shelters have warned.

Shelters and charities are reporting that owners who no longer want their pets are attempting to sell them online via websites such as Gumtree…

Passing rigorous psychological assessment to obtain a licence to own an animal would solve 95+% of this problem.
Owning an animal without said licence would result in criminal conviction.


  • +8

    Disgusting. There should be huge fines.

  • +11

    What do these people do when the shelters won't take their kids too?

    • +2

      Put them in a box and dump them somewhere.

    • I thought they never did this. Instead they undertake deep self reflection to psychoanalyse why they had children in the first place, such as a drunken screw to keep a relationship together or wanting a puppy, oops baby, to play with. Then after said self reflection they take responsibility for their actions & invest in raising an independent thinking adult.
      Save the applause…

  • +11

    Keep in mind this is a UK article.

  • +1

    Very sad :(

  • +5

    Terrible there are people who see pets as some merchandise they can get “dump” when they no longer serves a purpose.

    Signs of Modern day instance gratification :(

  • +1

    But the ranger would scan the microchip & know its yours - especially since if it matches councils dog register.

    • Not everyone is responsible enough to get their do microchipped.

  • +3

    Another day, another copy/paste news article for some reason.

    • +1

      Frustrating as the most casual look would show pets are still in high demand in Australia and there is no indication anybody is seeking to abandon them.

      • -1

        Typical of this poster, sensationalist, no idea about actual issues.

  • +3

    Btw is there a bargain? Oversupply of dogs at pounds leading to cheap prices?

    • +1

      Maybe the bargain is that this is setting the precedence for all of the caravans that were bought during lockdown as well. Give it a year or two…

      • I’m 100% on board for a nice secondhand camper in 12 months when everyone is looking at what they can sell to pay off the Bali trip bills.

  • Very hard to believe this happening here, given the prices for pets.

  • -1

    The RSPCA do not even answer the phone. There is a crisis here, nowhere to take unwanted animals. Some people are unable to keep them, due to landlord issues etc.

    • +2

      I haven't called the RSPCA to send them a stray, but in all of Sydney they currently have 11 dogs available for adoption, so I don't think they are being overwhelmed.

      • I have a friend in an urgent situation, and they dont answer the phone. He says they block private numbers too. He is really stressed out, and has dumped the problem in my lap. The problem is some homeless cats have been evicted from a boarding house

  • Knew this was going to happen. People got pets because you get extra time out (at least in Melbourne). These people are idiots. If they had half a brain they could just have walking a neighbour's dog.

    Don't worry similar articles will appear about cars once this is over.

    There will be enough material for 100 seasons of the TV show about hoarders (give the amount of stuff people have bought). The next pandemic people will be binge watching documentaries of all the stupid stuff we did.

    • +1

      The article is from the UK.
      In the whole of Victoria right now there are 13 dogs available for RSPCA adoption.
      That certainly doesn't sound like they are being overwhelmed with dumped pets.

      • Here is the article

        Australia isn't that on trend. If the British did it you can bet it will be coming to us. Their freedom day was earlier in the year.

      • +1

        Wait until things get back to "normal". Back at work, kids at school, don't have time for the dog, return to pound. Rinse and repeat.

        • I think you should reconsider owning a dog if you are planning to get rid of it after such a short time - it seems like you aren’t considering the pets welfare very much.
          I would have thought as a pet owner you would have developed affection for your animals.

  • +4

    The article quotes 3.2million pets during covid, of which they identified 5 that were believed to be fake strays. But they think there might be more, perhaps.

    This is animal welfare click bait and it is disappointing to see it from the Guardian.

  • -1

    Owning an animal without said licence would result in criminal conviction.


    Owning personal property is a human right. Disposing of it is also a right.

    Pets in western countries are treated fairly good compared to other countries.

    • +2

      No. Anyone with half a brain would realise that owning a living creature is different from owning a TV or their wouldn't be laws against mistreating animals.

      • Some don't have half a brain. And plenty are sociopaths

      • Are Dogs Considered Property or Children?
        On the issue of whether dogs can be considered children, the Judge made it very clear that this is not the case, providing the following reasons:

        unlike children, dogs are often purchased;
        unlike children, dogs can be bred based on bloodlines, with a high price put on services that do so;
        unlike children, when dogs are sick or aggressive, they are put down;
        just because there is an emotional attachment to something, does not mean that it is not property. He made a comparison to butter knives, and that there would never be such an order made to share custody of such a thing, regardless of the deep attachment one or both parties may have.

        • Once upon a time, homosexuality was a crime

          • @Boogerman: What does homosexuality have to do with pets? Are you saying that pet ownership or owners are homosexual?

    • Depends if you consider pets family or property

      • Dog ownership laws
        Laws around dog ownership can be difficult to deal with. Dogs are classed as property under the law, despite the emotional attachment owners have towards their four-legged friends. DAS Law’s Bethan Mack explains.

  • Thanks Neil for correcting the misleading post title!

  • "to sell them online via websites such as Gumtree…" ..

    Don't forget it's cash only!

  • This is more fitting for Twitter

  • The fine should be for the breeders who sell the animals

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