Sunday 2 October 2016

Charity gets 260 calls to take Christmas gift dogs

John Brennan

Published 26/01/2016 | 02:30

Bella’, a Shih Tzu with her seven newborn pups, who are unwanted as they were not born in time for the Christmas market
Bella’, a Shih Tzu with her seven newborn pups, who are unwanted as they were not born in time for the Christmas market
Snape, an 8 week old Chihuahua
Rex - an 11 week old Collie

More than one in three calls to a dog welfare charity is from owners who want to know how to hand in their pets.

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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.

Irish Independent

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