ANIMAL Welfare organisations are fearing the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic - as they expect a rise in the number of unwanted and abandoned pets.

The SSPCA have said that abandonment is down from last year, but the volume of calls for unwanted animals has increased since 2019.

They are now expecting an increase in unwanted pets over the next few weeks in the Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Dumbarton rescue centres.

Since lockdown started in March there has been a reported 166 per cent increase of the google search ‘buy a puppy’.

As lockdown restrictions ease in the coming months, experts are predicting that more dogs could be unwanted or abandoned due to behavioural problems like separation anxiety.

SSPCA Chief superintendent, Michael Flynn said: “A lot of people have been taking pups and kittens on, and that pup or kitten has never known anything but people being home.

“Once the lockdown stops, kids go back to school, and people start going back to work, many young dogs will be left in the house alone for the first time.

“There will be a huge amount of behavioural problems and that’s when we are worried that animals will start being abandoned or coming in as unwanted.”

Chief Superintendent Michael Flynn also issued a warning, as well as advice on what people can do to help prevent this, by thinking before buying young animals like puppy’s or kittens.

He added: “It is a criminal offence to abandon an animal.

“Make sure you do all your homework and research before you buy, and make sure you buy from a reputable owner.”

If you’re struggling to cope with looking after your dog or other pets you can contact The SSPCA on 03000 999 999 or Dogs Trust on 0300 303 2188.