Wood Green Animal Shelter bans rescue dog 'sightseers'

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

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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