News from the Natural World: 90% of Pets found to suffer from debilitating Stockholm Syndrome during the lockdown.
Pets in the United Kingdom have played “an incredibly important role” through a period of “social loneliness”. During the early days of the COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent lockdown one of the few reasons people could go out “was to walk your dog“. Pet ownership has soared and this has led to a huge increase in puppy factories and a devastating new reality for dogs and cats in the UK.
It has led to an imminent animal welfare crisis for lockdown pets. Dozens of animal rescue centres across the UK and Ireland are facing closure due to the pandemic, with more than half seeing their income drop by 50%. Unwanted and abandoned dogs and cats across the UK have continued to need help throughout the different lockdown measures and, with a major recession looming, this is likely to get worse as owners struggle to afford to care for them. The UK as a whole is likely to see an increase of up to 27% more dogs being abandoned or left to stray in the next five years.
In addition, more than 40% of people who bought puppies during lockdown admitted they had not previously planned to get a dog. With demand so high, and the market so lucrative, many may have inadvertently acquired these animals from less reputable sources. As a result, thousands of pets have suffered the effects of poor breeding and ill health, with a few high profile examples even hitting the headlines. Rumours have been circulating across the animal kingdom that all of these lockdown pets have been suffering from a debilitating form of Stockholm Syndrome. Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response. It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse. But were these pets suffering from this Stockholm Syndrome?
90% of Pets Found to Suffer From Debilitating Stockholm Syndrome
We managed to interview some of the dogs on the frontline of this terrifying new illness. Percy the Pug has this to say “Well I guess I like them a bit. They feed me, walk me and keep me warm. But sometimes they go a whole day without taking me for a proper walk. Also, my diet is pretty terrible. They feed me this horrible dog food when I really need a varied diet with at least some raw meat and fish. Furthermore, they also dress me up and hit me for no reason. Sometimes they even make me sit in my bed for hours on end.
Percy the Pug was really hitting his stride now. “I’m confused if I’m being honest. I’ve got this vague primal memory that maybe I’m meant to be able to breathe properly. That I’m not supposed to sound like a hippo in a washing machine. Maybe it’s all nonsense but sometimes when I sleep I have these vivid dreams of running through the forests in a big pack. I’m a wolf and I’m sprinting so fast, there are other wolves beside me. We’re all one big family, leaping through the trees. I can feel the wind in my air and joy in my heart. But then I wake up and I’m still a Pug. Next thing I know my owner is prepping my outfit for the next Instagram suit. I wonder if it really was just a dream or whether something has gone truly wrong in my past.”
So it turns out that not only have pets been suffering from Stockholm Syndrome during the lockdown. They have also been suffering from it for the entirety of their domestication by humans.
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