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More than 170 puppies are handed to rescue charity in just one day 

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Can YOU give them a loving home? Abandoned puppies snapped up during the pandemic are part of batch of more than 170 handed to charity in just one day

  • Owners have found the novelty of having a dog in lockdown has now worn off 
  • There are now thousands of unwanted ‘pandemic puppies’ across the country 
  • Veteran animal rescue boss says that she has never experienced anything like it 


Their sad faces tell a story of human betrayal. Dogs of all colours, breeds and sizes that were snapped up by eager families during the pandemic have now been heartlessly rejected.

Like children bored with an old toy, owners have found the novelty of having a four-legged friend in lockdown has worn off as normality begins to return. There are now thousands of unwanted ‘pandemic puppies’ across the country.

The dogs pictured here are part of the latest batch of more than 170 to arrive at just one rescue centre. Veteran animal rescue boss Sylvia Van Atta, 62, said: ‘I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. A dog is for life, not just for lockdown.

Veteran animal rescue boss Sylvia Van Atta, 62, said: ‘I’ve never experienced anything quite like it

Veteran animal rescue boss Sylvia Van Atta, 62, said: ‘I’ve never experienced anything quite like it

‘Some cynical people thought there was lots of money to be made by unregistered breeding, because dog prices rocketed during the Covid outbreak.

‘Now the boom is over, we’re paying the price as animals are given up, and inexperienced owners realise a pet is not for them. It’s heart-breaking.’

The charity Many Tears, based near Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, South Wales, and run by Mrs Van Atta and her husband Bill, recently took in 172 adult dogs and puppies from across Britain, adding to the 3,500 she rescues each year.

Among the animals at the centre are five little beagles described by general manager Lisa Davies, 25, as ‘miracle dogs’.

They were delivered by C-section after their mother, from an earlier rescue consignment, became ill.

Among the animals at the centre are five little beagles described by general manager Lisa Davies, 25, as ‘miracle dogs’

Among the animals at the centre are five little beagles described by general manager Lisa Davies, 25, as ‘miracle dogs’

Mrs Van Atta nursed them by hand, waking every two hours to check and bottle feed them. Their mother, who survived, was unwanted by an owner who hadn’t even known she was about to have pups.

This week, after Storm Arwen ripped metal roofing off some buildings at the site and also resulted in the death of a puppy when she became too cold after power was cut, an online appeal raised more than £65,000.

Mrs Van Atta said: ‘When I was told how much had been raised, I just couldn’t believe it. It’s just amazing really.’

There are now thousands of unwanted ‘pandemic puppies’ across the country. Lisa Davies is pictured above with two more puppies in Christmas hats

There are now thousands of unwanted ‘pandemic puppies’ across the country. Lisa Davies is pictured above with two more puppies in Christmas hats

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