Dogs Trust Ballymena is taking a stand against impulse puppy purchasing by changing its name to Socks Trust, encouraging people to #GiveSocksNotDogs this Christmas.
To highlight the huge number of Christmas gift pups given up by ill-prepared owners, the charity has created an exclusive line of festive socks featuring some of the loveable hounds left abandoned over the festive season.
One of these loveable hounds is Butterball who along with his two siblings were abandoned in a field over Christmas 2015. Butterball made headlines in local and national press due his size - twice that of his siblings. After being lovingly cared for by the team at Dogs Trust Ballymena they all found forever homes in January.
Last year, Dogs Trust Ballymena received a staggering 294 calls in the weeks following Christmas from new owners wanting to give up their dog, with a total of 45 unwanted dogs handed in during this period alone. Championing the most conventional and possibly least returned Christmas present of all - a safe pair of socks - Socks Trust is working to avoid the plight of puppies bought on a whim and neglected when the reality of dog ownership sinks in.
Over 1,000 unwanted dogs are handed in every year to Dogs Trust rehoming centres in the weeks following the festive puppy-buying rush. Dogs Trust’s iconic slogan ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, remains as relevant as ever.
Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust CEO, who rescued abandoned Christmas pup Skipper from Dogs Trust in 2014, said: “There’s no denying that buying a puppy for a loved one can seem like an extravagant and exciting purchase. Unfortunately, the realities that come with being a new dog-owner are often overlooked in the thrill of it all. We want to avoid these unfortunate situations and as Socks Trust, we are encouraging prospective buyers to make sure they’ve thoroughly thought about the reality of dog ownership before they impulse buy. Instead, opt for a safe pair of cosy socks that their loved ones definitely won’t give back this year.”
Whilst any pair of socks will do as an alternative to buying a dog this season, Socks Trust’s range of fund raising, limited-edition socks can be purchased from Dogs Trust Charity Shops across the country and the Dogs Trust eBay shop.