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One in five pet owners carry out ‘poor excuse’ for research

More than one in five pet owners in the UK admit that they did not consider undertaking background research before committing to their current dog or cat, according to figures released by Battersea Dogs’ & Cats’ Home.

In a survey of more than 1,000 pet owners conducted to reveal attitudes towards responsible pet ownership, 22% of people indicated that they did not even think about checking to see whether their dog or cat came from a reputable place, with a further 55% admitting that they did not conduct much research, but simply ‘felt confident’ that their source was trustworthy.

Commenting on these statistics, Laura Jenkins, Director of Operations, Animal Welfare at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home says, “Compared with the amount of research we do for other important life decisions, such as purchasing a new car, finding a school or even a new bank account, it seems incredulous that one in five people take pet ownership so lightly.

“It worries us greatly that so many members of the public are committing to pets without conducting basic background checks on where their pets are coming from. There are far too many people out there who perceive breeding cats and dogs as lucrative, and jump into breeding in order to make a quick buck. Consequently, we all too often see pets coming in with significant medical and behavioural problems as a result of being reared irresponsibly in pet shops, or by novice breeders.”

A significant 72% of survey respondents also indicated that they definitely wanted, or preferred, that their pet was a puppy or kitten when they bought it.

Laura continues, “It’s a shame that many people don’t consider adult dogs or cats, who often require less attention and training, making them more appropriate for busy households.”
On the back of these statistics, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is calling on prospective pet owners to keep an open mind and consider giving a rescue dog or a cat a second chance, rather than turning to breeders or pet shops set on a puppy or kitten.

For those who must have a puppy or kitten, however, Battersea’s message is clear: avoid supporting irresponsible breeders by conducting thorough research before committing to your pet.