With the rise in dogs being surrendered by owners since the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, animal welfare organisations have been working hard to rehome dogs and raise awareness of the "pandemic puppy".

In fact, internal data gathered over the last three months across Facebook and Instagram has seen over 12,000 posts and comments about rehoming dogs by 9,500 people in Ireland.

There has also been a surge in the use of hashtags such as #adoptdontshop, #rescuedog, #rescuedogsofinstagram and #rescuedismyfavoritebreed as people across Ireland support these organisations in rehoming rescue dogs.

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Wicklow Animal Welfare is one of many organisations that relies on social media to connect potential owners with dogs in need of a new home.

"This year, we have rescued and rehomed hundreds of dogs through Instagram. Alongside the dogs we rescue on a normal basis, we are now inundated with what we term 'Covid surrenders'," says Miriam Peters, who helps run the charity's social media profiles.

"It’s heartbreaking for the dogs who have been let down by people. As a voluntary organisation, founded by Fiona Gammell, we rely entirely on the good will of our supporters."

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More than 57,000 people in Ireland are part of Facebook groups dedicated to rehoming dogs. One such group is the Dogs Trust Ireland Lost & Found Dogs Group, which has more than 14,900 members.

Speaking further on the issue, Melanie Kevelighan, who runs the page, said:

"We will be spoiling the dogs in our care and celebrating those lucky pooches who are enjoying the day in their forever homes. Unfortunately, we’ve recently been experiencing a huge increase in the volume of people contacting us to surrender their dog as Covid-19 restrictions ease."

If you are in need of some tips and tricks to help prepare your dog for spending more time in their own company, and to teach them vital skills that they can apply in any situation, visit DogsTrust.ie/BarkToBasics.

Read more: How to support your dog as you go back to the office