AN animal charity has seen a huge spike in the number of dogs being given up as their owners flee domestic abuse.

Dogs Trust Freedom Project said the number of pets received in Glasgow has soared by 240% in the first six months of this year on the same period in 2021.

And bosses said that number could be even higher as owners often don't name the area they are fleeing from.

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From January to June last year five dogs were referred to the project from Glasgow, and in that period this year 17 dogs have been given into foster care.

The project, first launched in 2018, is now calling for more foster carers to come forward and temporarily care for the dogs of domestic abuse survivors.

Sarah Petrov, Freedom Project regional manager, said: "Sadly, there is a strong link between domestic abuse and abuse to pets, with research showing that pets will often be used by a perpetrator as a tool to threaten or coerce their partners.

Glasgow Times:

"This is incredibly frightening for survivors and can range from perpetrators stopping their partner from accessing vet care for their dogs or spending money on dog food, through to repeatedly threatening to harm, kill or ‘get rid’ of their dogs.

"As many refuges are unable to accept pets, survivors are understandably concerned about their dog’s safety when they need to escape."

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Involvement in fostering through the project is always kept completely confidential to protect both the dogs and the foster carers.

Volunteer foster carer Marion, whose name was changed to protect anonymity, said taking part in the scheme had been a "joy and privilege".

She added: "The foster dogs have filled everyday with laughter and amazed us by how clever they are.”

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