Nine thousand dogs were put to sleep last year according to figures from the Dogs Trust.
Hundreds of stray dogs are picked up by local authorities each day who say that they are struggling with such huge numbers of dogs in the current economic climate.
Daybreak takes a closer look at the story and reveals the heart-wrenching truth about what happens to so many unwanted dogs - young and old that never find the loving family that they deserve...
If you are thinking of getting a dog then visit your local council shelter or rescue centre - You will most likely come away with the perfect companion! Take a look at our top ten reasons to rescue a dog below:
Top ten reasons to adopt a rescue dog
1. You’ll save a life
A lot of dog shelters euthanise dogs after seven days if they haven't been claimed and there is no interest from a potential new owner. When you adopt a rescue dog, you're saving that dog's life - This is an incredibly rewarding experience.
2. Unconditional love
All dogs are loving, but a dog from a shelter is even more so. Because his life was harsh before, a rescue dog will cling to you and love you deeply. You will be his savior, and your rescue dog will always cherish you for it.
3. Setting a good example to your children
Adopting a rescue pet presents a wonderful opportunity to teach your children the essential values of compassion, caring, and the selfless act of giving someone a second chance.
4. You’re not starting from scratch
When you buy an eight-week-old puppy, you're essentially bringing an infant into your home – a completely untrained little baby who thinks your new shoes are much tastier than treats, and your best carpet is an excellent substitute for grass when nature calls! Most rescue dogs have been house dogs in the past. They come to you with at least some basic manners and may have also been living with a foster family who have taught them the ropes.
5. Reducing the pet population problem
When you buy from a breeder, you create a demand for more puppies. This means breeders will continue to breed their dogs to make more sales. When you adopt, you're giving a home to an abandoned dog and preventing the need for additional breeding.
6. Your not supporting puppy farming
There are a lot of people out there pretending to be reputable breeders on many free internet advertising sites, when they actually breed their dogs in cruel puppy farms. When you adopt, you're putting one less sale into the pockets of irresponsible breeders.
7. You will find your perfect match
Adoptable pets listed by reliable rescue organisations have not only been health-checked, they’ve also been assessed for temperament and basic manners. That means they should be able to help you find the perfect pet-match for your family and lifestyle.
8. You will sleep better!
It feels good knowing that the pet you just brought into your life is a dog that you saved. You won't have to question your decision the way you would if had you bought a dog. You'll know you did the right thing.
9. You can still find puppies or purebreds
Dog shelters have purebred dogs and some puppies. There are also plenty of breed rescues out there. If you absolutely must have either, visit the shelters and see what your options are.
10. A cost-effective choice
With a rescue pet you’re adopting an animal that’s been health-checked, neutered or spayed, vaccinated and often wormed and treated for fleas too. When you buy a puppy or kitten, all those medical expenses come out of your pocket, on top of the cost of the pet.
For a full list of rescue centres across the UK you can look on dogsblog.com and dogpages.com