ADCH & RAIN Press Release




Rain Rescue fears this is the start of an animal welfare crisis caused by a rise in pet ownership rates colliding with cost-of-living pressures. The charity, along with other ADCH members and non-members are seeing an increase in animals coming into its care with many centres already full and others close to capacity, as rehoming slows down and more people are looking to give up their pets.

The Rain Rescue team have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, helping 430 cats and dogs in 2021.  Since the start of 2022, Rain has rehomed 238 cats and dogs as well as neutered hundreds of cats with their Snip and Chip project. With a waiting list of over 100 cats and 42 dogs, Rain Rescue are at capacity.  The charity is experiencing a reduction of over 35% in their donation income as people feel the impact of the rising cost of living but are experiencing an increase of over 50% in vet fees costs.  Rain Rescue sees a worrying future for these pets. 

Recent research by the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) shows that demand for rescue dogs has declined in the past year while the number of dogs being abandoned is higher in 2022 than 2021 and 2020.   The cat population was at pandemic proportions prior to covid, and this has continued throughout it now, post-pandemic, cats are being abandoned at an alarming rate. Abandoned cats will continue to breed from 4 months of age and usually, full of disease and illness, die a painful and pitiful death on the street.

70% of ADCH member rescues surveyed, report an influx of dogs with behavioural issues.  This is in line with studies indicating that inexperienced dog owners are giving up dogs they acquired during the lockdown and are now unable to care for, due to a variety of factors.

Halita Obineche, Executive Director of ADCH, said: “There was a huge surge in people getting pets in lockdown and we are dealing with the fallout. Inexperienced owners unable to manage pets with behavioural issues caused by poor training and a lack of socialisation; workers returning to the office; and now the rising cost of living, all combining to create a national animal welfare crisis.

“Our members emerged from lockdown struggling with a lack of funds and a dearth of experienced staff. They are overburdened – both in terms of space and the emotional toll of dealing with an epidemic of dog abandonment.”

Within the U.K, 10.2 million people own a dog.  The public and U.K. and European puppy farmers were quick to meet those demands for more puppies as prices escalated over and above those ever seen before.  The PDSA PAWS 2022 REPORT states that 34% of people bought their dog from a breeder, 23% bought from a private sale, 14% bought from a rescue centre and 6% imported one.  The report states that 640,000 dogs were legally imported.  Shockingly, out of the 11.1 million people who own a cat, there are very few statistics of the number of cats bought in the U.K. but even though the U.K. is overloaded with unwanted cats, there was an increase to 6% of cats imported with a figure of 590,000 legally imported.  

During the pandemic, as vets struggled under the volume of newly acquired pets along with the pandemic and ever-decreasing vets, many of these pets haven’t been vaccinated.   and many rescue centres and vets are reporting higher incidences of potentially fatal contagious diseases like Parvo Virus and Distemper being seen and escalating.  Diseases which are preventable with vaccination.  

Now, a high proportion of those pets are unwanted and owners attempting to sell or rehome them.  They hope that rescue centres can simply take them off their hands and somehow manage to improve the behaviour these under-socialised dogs have.  Rescue centres simply cannot cope with these volumes of numbers of unwanted pets and say that rescue centres should not be seen as the solution.  

Rain Rescue and other ADCH members are asking the public to help them.  

    • SHARE the news that rescue centres should not be seen as the first solution to them not wanting their pet anymore.
    • SEEK a reputable BEHAVIOURIST from eg. and
    • ADVISE people to find solutions to keep their pet
    • DONATE to Rain Rescue to ensure that we have the funds to keep on helping the truly homeless pets that need us.  


For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Jacquie Neilson, 01709 247777/3,

Notes to Editors


  • In our 20th year of helping cats and dogs, we need support to ensure we are here for the next 20 years.  In the last 20 years, we have helped over 5000 cats and dogs.  At this rate of increased abandonment, the next 20 years will see a further 9000 dogs and cats asking for our help.

About the Association of Dog and Cat Homes

  • The Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) is the umbrella group and leading representative charity for dog and cat rescue and rehoming organisations across the British Isles.
  • ADCH promotes best practices in animal welfare for dogs and cats. Members encompass charities of all sizes, from the smallest to the largest, plus some Individual members, so the number of people involved measures many thousands.
  • ADCH was founded in 1985 with the purpose of developing good practices in the rescue and rehoming of dogs and cats.
  • ADCH hosts the UK’s largest animal welfare Annual Conference, welcoming 500 delegates a day over two days.
  • Visit for further information.
  • ADCH Registered charity no: 1180574
  • ADCH Contact Details: Executive Director, Halita Obineche (; Therese Davall, Member & Administration Manager (


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