Wood Green Animal Shelter bans rescue dog 'sightseers'

Dog at Wood Green shelter Dogs at the shelter are being "stressed by sightseers"

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An animal charity has banned people from viewing its dogs unless they are "genuinely looking" for a pet to reduce stress on the animals.

Wood Green Animal Shelter in Cambridgeshire will shut its kennels to the general public from 20 January.

A spokeswoman said the "constant stream of strangers" viewing the dogs was causing the animals "stress".

Research carried out by the charity last summer revealed only 15% of visitors intended to adopt a dog.

'Hiding and panting'

Linda Cantle, head of animal welfare at the Godmanchester rescue, said: "We understand that some people will be disappointed by not being able to visit the dogs, however our animals' welfare is always our overriding priority."

"Various studies worldwide have shown that a constant stream of strangers viewing dogs is extremely stressful for them, leading to excessive barking, hiding and panting," she added.

"We have introduced a number of techniques to reduce the negative effect, but we are still seeing a deterioration of behaviour and health in the dogs in our care on a daily basis."

People wishing to visit the dogs will now have to meet with a member of staff to discuss the rehoming process before being able to view the animals, Ms Cantle said.

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