Santa the puppy found abandoned
A Staffordshire bull terrier puppy found abandoned in freezing conditions in the early hours of Christmas Day has been dubbed "Santa" by staff at a re-homing centre.
The 12-week-old puppy was found at the Old Dairy in Festival Avenue, Salisbury, Wiltshire, and taken to the centre run by charity Dogs Trust.
A spokeswoman said: "Despite wintry weather the little stray is in good health and is now receiving lots of love and care at the re-homing centre."
Leslie Gold from Dogs Trust Salisbury said: "This story is all too common for young puppies at Christmas and we suspect little Santa was cruelly dumped in the snow when his owners realised the work involved in looking after a puppy. Luckily the little pup was found in time and we're happy to see him doing so well in our care."
Santa will remain in the care of Dogs Trust until he has fully recovered and is ready to find a loving new home in the New Year.
Clarissa Baldwin, the Dogs Trust chief executive who coined the slogan "A dog is for life not just for Christmas", said: "Sadly there are still people out there who think pets are as disposable as Christmas wrapping paper. Our research this year revealed that one in five parents would still consider buying their child a dog for Christmas, even though most presents are discarded by their bored recipients after just four weeks. We're urging people to 'think life' before taking on a dog."
To help discourage people from thoughtlessly buying dogs as Christmas presents, the charity's 17 re-homing centres have put a hold on re-homing dogs from December 19 to January 2. People are still able to visit the centres and reserve a dog, but will not be able to take it home until the New Year.
Anyone interested in re-homing Santa should contact Dogs Trust Salisbury directly on 01980 629 634 or visit the centre at 45 Amesbury Road, Newton Tony, Wiltshire, SP4 OHW.