Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is used to seeing an increase in unwanted dogs over the winter months.
However, nothing could prepare staff at Dogs Trust Ballymena for the sheer number of puppies coming in to the rehoming centre’s care since the start of the year – a total of 50, which is almost one puppy every day.
This unprecedented number of puppies – currently making up around 30% of the canine residents at the centre - range from Collies to Crossbreeds with the handover reasons varying from unwanted litters to strays.
A large number have also been born at the rehoming centre.
Thankfully, many of the pups have now found new homes but staff at the rehoming centre are appealing for new owners to provide a fresh start for the remaining few.
Mary Carney, Dogs Trust Ballymena Rehoming Centre Manager, said: “Christmas and New Year are always a busy time but no-one could have predicted this many puppies would be handed in.
“Last year marked the 35th anniversary of the phrase ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ and figures like these prove that the slogan is still just as relevant today as it was back in 1978.
“Adopting a puppy is a huge commitment and people need to fully consider the costs and responsibilities involved in dog ownership before bringing a dog into their homes.”
Dogs Trust Ballymena is currently caring for Friday and her litter of 10 puppies and Nellie and her six puppies.
Both bitches came in to the centre pregnant, Friday from the local pound and Nellie from another charity. Friday and Nellie have both happily been reserved and the puppies will be available for rehoming in two weeks’ time.
To find out more about any of the puppies or dogs at the rehoming centre please visit Dogs Trust Ballymena, 60 Teeshan Road, Ballymena, Co Antrim, BT43 5PN or call the centre on 028 2565 2977. www.dogstrust.org.uk