Charity gets 260 calls to take Christmas gift dogs
More than one in three calls to a dog welfare charity is from owners who want to know how to hand in their pets.
Dogs Trust said it received more than 260 phone calls during January from people wanting information about how to surrender a dog.
During the second week in January, the charity took in as many stray and unwanted dogs as they could manage, including three abandoned and unwanted pregnant bitches.
Bella, a heavily pregnant Shih Tzu, was handed in by her owner because her puppies were not born in time to sell for Christmas.
Mark Beazley, Dogs Trust executive director, said: "We are still seeing unscrupulous breeders trying to cash in on the demand for 'Christmas Present Puppies' resulting in a high volume of unwanted puppies in the New Year." A number of puppies have been surrendered since Christmas, including 'Snape' an eight-week-old Chihuahua and 'Rex', an 11-week-old Collie who were both Christmas presents.
"We are reminding people of the enormous commitment involved in re-homing a dog at any time of the year," Mr Beazley said.
"Very simply, a dog is for life and not just for Christmas and the pressure and demands for our services this January just shows that unfortunately, a flippant attitude towards dog ownership still exists amongst a significant minority of the public."
He added: "The decision to own a dog is a deeply personal one and not a decision that should be made for someone by gifting them a dog." Dogs Trust has over 200 dogs and puppies in its care.