Many people thought lockdown was the perfect time to purchase a pandemic companion. 

Those who did not have time before, found themselves with an abundance of it. Those who never felt the void that only a furry friend could fill suddenly realized they would be by their lonesome for a fair few months. The solution? Purchase an adorable little puppy, of course.

This enormous rise in puppy demand even lead to an incredible price increase, the average price of a Beagle increaing 151%, showing just how desperately people were scrambling to get their hands on a best friend. In fact, over 3.5 million households purchased a pet since the start of lockdown.

Unfortunately, many owners did not comprehend just how large a commitment a puppy can be. New owners struggle to cope with the reality of dog ownership and the commitment, time and cost this entails after impulsively and recklessly being bought online. Often a 15+ year commitment, vet bills that can strain already stretched pockets, and an incredible amount of time (that may just not be feasible for owners after lockdown) needs to be considered before purchasing a dog.

Regrettably, the lack of these considerations has led to many puppies sadly being abandoned by owners who claim they "just don't have time for them". Restriction easing in England had coincided with a rush of enquiries from people wanting to surrender their dogs.  

Nuriyah Khan, a loving dog owner herself, voices her heartache at this crisis: "It is unfathomable, to me, that someone with a heart could purchase a dog in such an uninformed manner and then proceed to abandon them in shelters and on the streets as if they were a toy."

The moral of the story? Pets are not toys. They are not temporary companions, but rather friends for life. While lockdown may be the time for some impulsive online shopping, stay off the local breeders website!