Dogs Trust received 370 requests from people wanting to return dogs after Christmas
We all know the saying, "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas" - but the charity behind the slogan insists the message is still not getting through to many Irish owners.
Dogs Trust has revealed its Dublin-based centre had 370 requests from people looking to surrender their dog from St Stephen's Day to the end of January.
The figures equate to 10 calls a day to the Finglas re-homing branch from December 26 to the end of last month.
Analysis of the requests - 317 calls and 53 emails - reveals the most common excuse owners give for handing in their dogs is that they don't have the time to look after them.
The charity described the number of post-Christmas requests to relinquish unwanted pets as "alarming".
Chiefs at the dog re-homing centre - which is already full to capacity - spoke of their dismay that so many people still buy dogs on a whim and are willing discard them once the novelty wears off.
"It is extremely worrying to see an increase in the number of dogs and puppies being surrendered or abandoned after Christmas," said Dogs Trust executive director Suzie Carley.
"We have just marked the 40th anniversary of the phrase 'A dog is for life, not just for Christmas' and sadly this message is as relevant today as first coined all those years ago."
She urged new owners to consider adopting a dog, while encouraging those who had decided to purchase a pet to ensure they buy from a reputable breeder, rather than fuelling the trade in puppy farming.