This is the highest annual number of handover requests in the charity’s history.
CEO Owen Sharp has long warned that the animal welfare sector is facing a crisis, with more animals being given up than it has space to look after, since the cost of living crisis started to bite.
The charity is the most stretched it has been in its 131 years, dealing with an influx of dogs whose owners can no longer afford them as bills continue to skyrocket. It has voiced grave concerns that a further 350,000 dogs may need to find new homes as the cost of living continues to rise.
Meanwhile, a new poll carried out by YouGov on behalf of Dogs Trust has revealed that a third (33%) of the UK’s dog owners are worried that, as costs continue to rise in 2023, the crisis will impact on how well they are able to care for their dog next year.
Mr Sharp said: “Although it was inevitable that we would reach 50,000 calls from owners no longer able to care for their dogs, it’s still a shock and a stark signifier of the animal welfare crisis the UK now finds itself in.
“Through our December poll, dog owners have told us they’re going to struggle this Christmas, and many more are really worried about what 2023 is going to bring.
“We’re doing as much as we can to help owners who have been worst hit by the crisis. We’re expanding our help and support all the time so, if you’re having a hard time looking after your dog, please reach out to us before it’s too late - there are lots of ways that we can help.”