Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre in Ballymena has been receiving an average of 13 calls a day from people looking to rehome their dogs in the month after Christmas.
The centre is bracing itself for the post-Christmas influx of unwanted dogs and is urging the public to remember the charity’s iconic slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ after a year of bizarre reasons offered by people giving up their dog.
Dogs Trust has revealed that some of the shocking reasons people have given up their dogs include ‘I won a free holiday and I couldn’t take my dogs with me’; ‘I got him as a secret Santa present’; ‘She was too friendly and wanted to greet every dog and human we met on a walk’; ‘He was panting too much’; ‘He didn’t like it when we played dress up’.
Following 431 calls in the weeks following Christmas last year from people unable to care for their dogs, Dogs Trust Ballymena are preparing themselves as they expect to take in many dogs in the weeks following the festive period.
Sarah Park, Assistant Manager at Dogs Trust Ballymena, said: “Dogs Trust take in thousands of much loved dogs from heartbroken owners who sadly find themselves unable to continue to care for their dogs due to unavoidable changes in their circumstances so it’s particularly hard for staff when they see the other end of the spectrum; dogs handed in simply because their owner’s bought them on a whim and consider them little more than toys to be discarded when the novelty wears off.
“We really hope this Christmas is the year our nation of animal lovers finally takes heed of our slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ and we don’t see dogs discarded because their owners have not considered the lifetime commitment of dog ownership.”
Dogs Trust urge anyone considering getting a dog to ensure they do their research to find a dog compatible with their lifestyle so they are fully aware of the realities of caring for a dog during its lifetime.