Rescue centre in Liverpool overwhelmed by dogs as slump bites

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Carla Lane Animals in Need is named after its patron, the late comedy screenwriter behind TV sitcoms Bread and Butterflies, who died in 2016. Since its launch 30 years ago, it has rehomed dogs, cats and rabbits – but it is now overwhelmed by an “unprecedented” number of animal arrivals.

The centre, in Melling, Liverpool, which has 40 places for dogs, has been forced to set up a waiting list.

Their volunteer consultant Kellie O’Shea blamed a “perfect storm” of lockdown purchases, cost-of-living increases, and “over-breeding”.

She said the centre has seen the “impact of people buying dogs without realising the commitment it involved and just wanting to get rid of them as quickly as possible”.

Calling the situation “really sad all round”, she also condemned “unscrupulous backyard breeders” for treating breeding as “an easy income stream”.

Kellie said: “We are completely full. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it. It’s heartbreaking but we cannot find new homes quickly enough.”

She advised people who feel overwhelmed by life with their new dog to get in touch with animal charities, as they are “more than happy” to provide support.

She added: “Basic, simple training is often all that’s needed to help people enjoy a lifetime companionship with a pet.”

Current residents include Dogue de Bordeaux Lilly, three, whose profile reads: “I was dumped and left to fend for myself but thankfully some lovely people found me.”

Last November, the centre made a public plea for donations of dog food, fearing families tightening their belts would be less able to hand in excess tins and dry feed.

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