AN animal welfare charity has warned that people are already dumping their Christmas pets – after it experienced a 50pc surge in calls.
The Dogs Trust phone lines were inundated after the festive season, as 51 people looking to give up their dogs contacted their rehoming centre in Finglas, Dublin, in one day.
Dogs Trust executive director Mark Beazley said the number of calls on Thursday, January 3, was a 50pc rise on what they normally receive, which is around 25.
He believes the unwanted pet problem is being contributed to by the easy availability of dogs, a lack of awareness of the responsibilities dog ownership brings and the perception that people can easily get rid of a pet.
"In the majority, we are a nation of dog lovers and people look after them very well," he said. However, he warned some act irresponsibly and believe a dog is something that can be easily discarded.
Some of the dogs taken in over the Christmas period include 15-week-old Jack Russell/chihuahua cross 'Sugar Plum' and 'Eve', an eight-week-old Jack Russell cross discovered abandoned on St Stephen's Day.
"We are designed to take in 141 dogs at any one time but we are rarely below 170. As soon as a dog is rehomed we have a line of dogs waiting to come in," he said.
Centre manager Catriona Birt said it was "heartbreaking" when they are forced to turn away "the most amazing dogs" as they don't have the capacity to house them.