An animal centre owner says demand for dogs has dropped so much she is in the grip of the worst canine crisis in 15 years.
Anne Marriott, who runs the Animals in Need shelter in London Road, Little Irchester, said she now had more than 50 dogs in her care; so many she has to look after 12 in her own house.
She says since the start of January the shelter had gone from rehoming 40 pet dogs a month to less than 10 and believes it could be due to recent high profile cases where dogs had been responsible for some infant deaths.
She said: “The dog rehoming is slowing, but it’s not just here, it’s happening all round the country, for some reason.
“Maybe it’s all the bad publicity that dogs are getting or whether people are worried about the money and the vets bills.”
Mrs Mariott said this was the most difficult period for rehoming dogs since she took over the shelter 15 years ago, although she added that demand for cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds had remained the same.
“The trouble is we are absolutely rammed. We are getting calls every day asking whether we can take in dogs but we don’t have the space.”
Anne fears that those dogs they cannot find room for will have to be put down by their owners.
The shelter is due to host a dog rehoming event on Sunday, April 6. The doors of the shelter will be open between noon and 3pm in a bid to find new families to take on pet dogs such as Chubs, a Staffordshire bull terrier that had lost half its body weight when it was taken in there two years ago.
Northampton Borough Council said its wardens took in 79 strays between January and April last year and expected the figures to be roughly the same this year.
If you can take offer any of the dogs shown here a home, call 01933 278080.