A rescue centre in Awsworth has seen an increase in old dogs being dumped by their owners.
The manager at Babbington Kennels Tony Sanderson said older dogs get abandoned when they become ill and the vet bills are too high, or when their owners die and relatives do not want their pets.
He said: “We have seen an increase in the number of old dogs. Often they don’t have microchips on them.
“We assume they are being dumped from their owners dying, and they are not passed on.
“Or them having expensive problems.
“As they get older and begin to get health problems it costs a lot of money.
“A lady rang yesterday to say her mum had died unexpectedly and she needed to sort the dog out.
“But that doesn’t always happen. Often relatives don’t want them, or they get dumped in the garden and left.”
Mr Sanderson said older dogs took much longer to rehome than puppies.
“They take a while to rehome. If you get a dog in that’s really cute they go out quite quickly.
“We charge less for older dogs though. You just want somewhere for them to go for their last few years.”
Babbington charges £200 per dog. The animals are fully vaccinated, micro-chipped and either spayed or neutered, and they carry an identification tag.
“We normally charge £130 for an older dog and less if they have limited time left,” he said.
The kennels is currently housing 11 older dogs, which is 25 per cent of its entire intake – ten per cent more than usual.
Mr Sanderson said over the last couple of years the number of dogs being handed into the kennels had overall been low.
“We had a decrease over the last year or two in dogs coming in from council wardens,” he said.
“Numbers moved down steadily over three years. But there’s been a big drop over the last year. This is how it was about two to three years ago. I don’t know why or what’s going on – whether it’s anything to do with finances nationally at the moment.
“The finance situation has been quite stable for a couple of years so it’s difficult to put it down to anything in particular.
“We are just coming up to the summer holidays, so I don’t know whether that’s got anything to do with it.
“We did used to have an upsurge in numbers as the summer came.
“People don’t want to pay for boarding. If they are going away for two weeks and they’ve got a couple of dogs it’s about £200.
Mr Sanderson said it became law to have your dog micro-chipped last year, and this had helped.
“The micro-chipping has had an effect,” he said. “Wardens are able to take dogs straight home without them having to come into kennels, which is great.”
Kennels staff post pictures of their dogs on the rescue centre’s Facebook page, where there are 7,000 followers.
The centre is currently housing 46 dogs.