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Get the message: festive puppy love can often fade fast

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IT is one of the most-famous and most-enduring Christmas warning slogans, but some people continue to ignore it.

Some people will see a cute puppy or a dog in the next few days and make a snap decision to get it as a present without thinking of the bigger picture.

"The 'A dog is for life, not just for Christmas' slogan is just as relevant today as it was when it was created by the charity 31 years ago," said Dogs Trust executive director Mark Beazley yesterday.

"Some of the reasons that we hear of dogs being abandoned are truly outrageous and saddening, and we are bracing ourselves for the inevitable over the Christmas period.

"Having a dog is a long-term commitment and Christmas gives us the opportunity to remind people that dogs are not fashion accessories or disposable items that can be upgraded or discarded after just a few months."

Dogs Trust Dublin is preparing for its first Christmas with canine residents in place.

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The rehoming centre in Finglas officially opened last month and has already rehomed more than 100 dogs. However, there will be at least 125 dogs in their care over Christmas.

To help prevent people thoughtlessly buying dogs as Christmas presents, Dogs Trust has decided to suspend rehoming the animals between Saturday and January 2. But staff expect other dogs to join them as many people abandon unwanted pets shortly after getting them.

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