Wednesday 17 September 2014

WSPCA reiterates dogs are for life, not just Christmas

Published 25/12/2013 | 05:44

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Ann Fitzpatrick, Linda Byrne, Patrick Byrne, Calvin Gammell and Marianne Dickenson of Wicklow SPCA with the dogs that can be adopted.

The WSPCA (Wicklow Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) once again want to get the message across this festive season that a Dog is for Life and not just for Christmas.

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Each year puppies and dogs are bought at a whim as Christmas presents, only to be discarded soon afterwards when the novelty wears off.

Sharpeshill Animal Sanctuary is currently the home to 50 unwanted dogs, and is also among the largest centres in Ireland acting as a facility for the re-homing of dogs and other animals, including horse, goats, donkeys and cats.

Anne Fitzpatrick is already dreading the influx of abandoned dogs that will come into Sharpeshill once Xmas is over, most of whom will have been Christmas gifts that simply aren't wanted anymore.

She warns, 'Christmas is far from the ideal time to take a dog into your home. With all the hustle, bustle and excitement of Christmas, the dog often ends up overlooked. It's best to wait until after the New Year when things have calmed down before considering getting a dog.

'People often don't realise the amount of work that goes into owning a dog. You have to clean up after them, especially if they are pups or aren't toilet trained yet. They have to be walked regularly and they have to be trained to make them more obedient. There are plenty of cases where people are in love with this adorable little puppy they get for Christmas but completely go off the dog a few months down the line when they have grown and lost that cuteness factor. It's incredibly unfair on the dog.'

'Thousands of dogs on a daily basis go to local pounds and sanctuary's across the country. It's important that people consider adopting a rescue dog rather than buying one. For a start people purchasing a dog never really have any background information on these animals, such as their dislikes or any little idiosyncrasies they may have. In Sharpeshill alone we have over 50 dogs just waiting for a new home for life. We have a constant influx of dogs coming into us all the time but, sadly, the number of dogs adopted from us has declined sharply in recent years. '

Sharpeshill Animal Sanctuary can be contacted on (0404) 44783.

Wicklow People

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