Family & Parenting

Stop buying puppies as Christmas presents, say Dogs Trust

Butterball and his two siblings were abandoned in a field and then taken in by Dogs Trust Ballymena. Butterball was twice the size of his siblings, hence the name

THE festive season is famous for many things – chief among them, presents. And what’s more famed than giving a puppy for Christmas?

Well you may have heard the phrase “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas” and Dogs Trust are trying to make sure that is no longer a problem, by temporarily re-branding their charity, Socks Trust.

Socks Trust are encouraging people to give that other famous Christmas present, and least returned gift of all, a pair of socks, rather than a puppy.

Two people change the welcome sign at the Dogs Trust's rehoming centre in Basildon - (Anthony Upton/PA)
(Anthony Upton/PA)


The problem of returned dogs is more widespread than you might have thought – every year 1,000 dogs are handed into the 20 Dogs Trust rehoming centres in the weeks following Christmas.

That’s a lot of dogs, and the reasons for such returns are even more surprising, ranging from “we realised we’re cat people” to “I had to spend an hour a day hoovering”, along with such responses as “she wasn’t cuddly enough”.

With comments like these, it’s no surprise that ‘Socks Trust’ are keen to get people to reconsider frivolous pet purchases around the season of gift giving.

The charity have created their own brand of socks in an attempt to correct the problem, and they’re not your average grey pair either – Socks Trust have designed some brilliant festive foot warmers featuring some of the loveable hounds that have been left abandoned in the past.

Would you like to meet a couple?

Dug the dog with a Dogs Trust worker - (Dogs Trust/Socks Trust)
(Dogs Trust/Socks Trust)


Dug the Lurcher was left tied up outside Dogs Trust West Calder in minus five-degree winds. He was left with a note that said “too old now, good with kids, good nature”. Dug was found shivering and confused, but otherwise healthy.

Butterball and one of his siblings - (Dogs Trust/Socks Trust)
(Dogs Trust/Socks Trust)


Meanwhile, Butterball and his two siblings were abandoned in a field, and made headlines due his size (he’s twice as big as his siblings). After being lovingly cared for by the team at Dogs Trust Ballymena, they all found homes in January.

The charity are hoping to get people talking with the hashtag #GiveSocksNotDogs, while Towie star Pete Wicks is the first celebrity to back the campaign.

The funds from the sock sales will all go towards caring for over 16,000 dogs in the charity’s care every year.

For more information about Socks Trust and how you can purchase a pair of socks to support the cause, click here or search #GiveSocksNotDogs

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Family & Parenting