Forty-seven per cent of pet-owners are concerned that when normality returns after the pandemic there will be more homeless pets than ever.

The results were found in Mars Petcare’s first ever State of Pet Homelessness Index, which used data from over 200 global and local sources to produce the index measuring pet homelessness.

Across the globe, there were common challenges in pet ownership including limitations on pet-friendly housing, with 55 per cent of respondents stating it is difficult to find dog-friendly rentals, and 44 per cent of cat owners claiming the same difficulties.

There was also found to be a negative perception of stray or shelter animals, as 50 per cent of prospective owners say they worry about a pet’s history if adopted from a shelter, and one in four believe stray animals are more likely to be aggressive.

Jeffery Flocken, President of Human Society International said he hopes the data will be used by animal welfare organisations, pet professionals, and researchers, to better understand the factors influencing pet homelessness and point towards the most impactful interventions.

“At Humane Society International, we are ultimately aiming to reduce the time companion animals spend in shelters before finding their forever homes and prevent them from being relinquished or abandoned –and this Index will inform our ongoing efforts to do just that.”