Blue Cross needed more than ever amid demand for lockdown pets

Four-month-old puppy Marvin is the first dog to be rehomed from Blue Cross Suffolk since the lockdow

Marvin the puppy was the first pet to be rehomed by Blue Cross during lockdown, after he was found wandering in Ipswich - Credit: Blue Cross

Animal charity Blue Cross has been needed more than ever during Covid-19, as demand for pets has soared.

In the year since the first lockdown started on March 23, 2020, the centre in Wherstead found new homes for 250 cats, dogs and small animals, while changing its whole way of working.

This included stray puppy Marvin, the first dog to be rehomed by Blue Cross during lockdown, who was found wandering in Ipswich.

Pumpkin, who is six months old, would like to be rehomed with Boo, Ghost, Spook and Spirit.Picture: BLUE CROSS

A large number of mice were taken in by the Blue Cross at Wherstead during the coronavirus pandemic - Credit: BLUE CROSS

The Suffolk centre took in 230 pets last year, including a large group of mice and Elsa the shih tzu, who was nearly bald  - and says the need for the charity is greater than ever.

Nationally, it is estimated 11% of households have taken on a new pet during the Covid-19 crisis. In May 2020 alone, there was a 515% increase in online applications for dogs.

But many pets have also ended up homeless over the year, and the charity has taken in almost 3,500 pets around the UK since the start of the first lockdown.

Elsa the Shih Tzu is now doing well after being almost bald due to an extreme case of mange Picture:

Elsa the shih tzu was one of the many pets taken in by the Blue Cross in Wherstead over the past year - Credit: BLUE CROSS

Sian Sharples, Blue Cross Rehoming Service delivery partner, said: “We were overwhelmed by offers of support when we put out a call for volunteers to help us care for homeless pets when our centres were forced to close.

"We are so grateful to all those who came forward to volunteer for us. We simply couldn’t have helped the number of pets we did over this time, and we are so grateful for all their support.“

The charity has also launched an animal behaviour line and offered a whole range of other services including virtual talks and workshops and its pet bereavement service.

For more information, visit the Blue Cross website.