There has been a surge in people wanting to take on a puppy or a new dog during the pandemic.

The Kennel Club says it saw an 84 percent increase in people searching its website for a new dog in the week leading up to lockdown.

But, along with the RSPCA, the organisation is urging people to think carefully before making the commitment.

Sprocker Spaniel Hoagie Credit: ITV News

Sarah Webber from Torpoint says her dog has been a welcome distraction in these strange times.

Sarah had already started rehoming proceedings for rescue dog Hoagie before the pandemic and managed to bring him home to Torpoint just before lockdown.

She said: ''If he hadn't been picked up then he probably would still be in foster now waiting for a forever home so at least now he can be settled and happy.''

This was a long term decision for us both anyway, we wouldn't have taken a dog on without considering even without lockdown how he was going to be looked after and where he was going to be during the day so yes I'm very lucky that I've got that sort of job that I can do that.

Sarah Webber
Sarah Webber with her rescue dog, Hoagie. Credit: ITV News

The RSPCA has seen an average of 40 abandonments per day during the pandemic and is encouraging people to only consider dog ownership if it's something they would have done anyway.

  • Advice from the Head of Companion Animals RSPCA, Sam Gaines:

Labrador breeders Tim and Lena Sperring say they are being inundated with calls from prospective new owners.

Lena said: ''They're asking if they can have puppies quite quickly which obviously is not going to happen from us as we work on a waiting list.

"We're receiving probably four times the amount of enquiries per day and telephone calls, just very very busy a lot busier than it would be normally.''

Tim and Lena Sperring Credit: ITV News

You've got to do it for the right reason, we don't want people saying we've got plenty of time now, when you go back to work you haven't got plenty of time. So we want you to have the puppy for the right reason not the wrong reason.

Tim Sperring, Labrador breeder