Lockdown creates backlog for repatriation of working dogs

A charity that helps rehome retired working dogs says fewer people have adopted due to the lockdown.

Natalie Smith started the charity Retired Working Dogs in 2012 when she saw that farm dogs needed to find new homes, while working in a veterinary clinic.

Some are retired as they are older, but some are young dogs who haven’t quite made it to work on the farm.

Ms Smith said it was normal for adoptions to drop in winter, but the lockdown had made matters worse.

“For farmers the lockdown has been business as usual, really, so it hasn’t affected the dogs coming from the farms, but it has really affected the dogs that we can repatriate – we’ve had dogs that have been in foster family for five months.

“People don’t adopt dogs during the winter, and now we’ve had another lockdown. And so things are pretty slow on the adoption front right now.”

She said the trust has 18 foster dogs.

“It’s a lot for us because we don’t have a very large foster network, 95% of our foster homes are full.”

There are 23 dogs also advertised on behalf of farmers on the trust’s website.

“Things are looking up. We have a few dogs that have reunions coming up and now most of the country is at level 2, we should see some more adoptions.”

Bette C. Alvarado