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‘Alarming' numbers looking to get rid of their dogs after Christmas

The Dogs Trust has urged people who are thinking of getting a new dog not to do so in the run-up to the festive season.

The Dogs Trust received 370 requests from people looking to re-home their dogs after Christmas.

Each year, the animal welfare charity sees a large volume of people looking to get rid of their dogs after the festive period.

Between December 26 and the end of January, the charity’s Dublin-based centre received what it described as an “alarming” 317 calls and 53 emails from members of public trying to relinquish their dogs.

Dogs Trust in Dublin
Suzie Carley, executive director at the Dogs Trust in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The most common reason given was that the dog owners did not have time to look after them any more.

Executive director Suzie Carley said: “It is extremely worrying that we continue to see a large number of dogs and puppies being surrendered or abandoned after Christmas.

“We have just marked the 40th anniversary of the phrase ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, and sadly this message is still as relevant today as when it was first coined by Dogs Trust all those years ago.”

Ms Carley urged people who are thinking of getting a new dog not to do so coming up to Christmas.

Terrier cross Tati and her 8 week puppies Tayana, Tefi and Timoti (©Fran Veale/PA)

“A dog is a big commitment, so if you are still thinking of getting a dog in the New Year we would ask the public to do careful research on where you are sourcing your dog from, research the breed of dog to suit your lifestyle and try to anticipate any major lifestyle changes such as an upcoming move, a new baby, and consider how a dog may impact this before bringing one into your home.”

Last week a litter of three puppies were dumped in a box with their mother and left for dead before being rescued by the animal welfare charity.

The eight-week old puppies – Tayana, Tefi and Timoti – were left for dead in freezing temperatures with their mum Tati before the Dogs Trust rescued them.

Tati has a deformity in both her front legs causing them to buckle outwards, which the charity said can be very painful, especially in later life.

Her malformation is also suspected to be genetic, in which case it is very possible that her pups could also develop the chronic condition.

Tati and her three puppies will be looking for homes over the next few weeks.

Head of operations Karla Dunne said: “It’s so incredibly heart-breaking to see these beautiful creatures being discarded in this way with little thought for their safety or well-being.

“We’re just grateful that they were found and brought to us so that we can care for them here until they find loving homes.

“Thankfully all four of them are now thriving here and mum Tati can get the veterinary treatment she needs, but sadly many other puppies are not as fortunate and this could have been a completely different story had they not been found so quickly.”

The Dogs Trust operates at full capacity and offers as many places as possible to dogs from Irish pounds, as they are the ones most at risk of destruction, so the charity is not in a position to take surrendered dogs from members of the public.

However, in the majority of the cases so far this year, the welfare of the dogs found abandoned or surrendered was of such concern, that the dogs were admitted for immediate veterinary attention.

The charity said this has impacted upon the number of dogs it can rescue from the local authority pounds.

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