Britain may be a nation of dog-lovers, but the current economic climate means many people are finding themselves unable to look after their pooches.
According to figures from Kirklees Council, 183 stray dogs were taken in by the authority last year, of which 52 had to be put to sleep – sometimes through illness or behavioural problems.
Yorkshire Rose Dog Rescue is one of the organisations which is desperately on the lookout for dog fosterers in Kirklees, as the number of dogs being abandoned and given up increases and charities struggle to cope.
Janet Burrell from the Birkenshaw-based charity said: “It has been getting worse for a number of years – a lot of people have been giving up on their dogs as they don’t have the money to support them any more.
“About 80 per cent of the dogs we rescue are Staffordshire bull terriers. People are breeding them to make easy money, because a lot of young lads want a macho dog for ‘protection’.”
One of the charity’s fosterers, Jay Wall from Morley, said: “Fostering costs nothing but my time, as the charity provides food, toys and vaccinations for the dogs that fosterers take on.
“To anyone considering getting into dog fostering, I would say: ‘just give it a go’! It can be hard work at times, but it is so rewarding as you know you are doing what is best for the dog.”
The fosterers take care of the dogs until a permanent home is found.
Anyone interested in fostering can visit www.yorkshirerosedogrescue.co.uk.