Dog returned to animal shelter because it didn't match the owner's couch

London, UK - As loneliness increased during the long, hard months of lockdown, many people went on the lookout for some furry company? But, as the former CEO of Battersea Dogs and Cats home illustrated, not everyone approaches the serious responsibility of owning a pet with the best attitude.

A dog was returned to the animal shelter after the owner complained about it not matching the sofa.
A dog was returned to the animal shelter after the owner complained about it not matching the sofa.  © 123RF / Lightfieldstudios

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, Claire Holton discussed the spike in people wanting to be pet owners during the pandemic – and why this might not always be the best idea.

While on one hand, people do have enough time to care for their four-legged friends right now – which is great – many refuse to accept the reality that a pet ownership might simply be too much to cope with.

There have already been way too many cases of rehomed dogs that were returned only weeks later because they were too much to handle.

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"We'll get people who will bring them back because they hadn't thought it was going to wee on the carpet or chew the bottom of their door," Horton said.

After all, caring for an animal is a lot of work and not simply having a new cuddly toy to play with.

Battersea thanks Claire Horton for her service

What dog owners might expect in the event of adoption

Horton remembers one particularly outrageous case: "We've even had a dog come back once because it didn't match the sofa."

To this day, she is still shocked by the incident. No pet in the world deserves to be treated that way and the person in question was banned for life from the facility.

Fortunately, the little dog still found its happy end and has since been adopted by a loving family.

"That's the point of the whole Battersea premise around 'rescue is our favorite breed'," Horton said. "It's not about what breed it is, what color it is. It's about just being a rescue ... that needs a wonderful life and is begging for a fantastic home," Horton said.

"And all it wants is love. And what you'll get back from that is unconditional loyalty and love forever."

Cover photo: 123RF / Lightfieldstudios

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