“He wasn’t a vegetarian” or “didn’t like being dressed up”. Just two of the reasons why people dump their dogs after Christmas.
Dogs Trust Shoreham 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.
The Shoreham-based Rehoming Centre received eight calls a day from people looking to give up their dogs in the month following Christmas last year. Reasons over 2017 included:
• I won a free holiday and I couldn’t take my dogs with me
• I’m a vegetarian but he always wanted to eat meat
• 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
• She sleeps in her own bed all night – I thought she would want to sleep in my bed
To bring the message home the charity has created a video called “Why I left you” with a twist which highlights the carefree attitude which people sadly display towards dog ownership.
13% confessed to buying a dog simply because it was a cute accessory
The charity’s iconic slogan has proved just as meaningful today as it was when first coined nearly 40 years ago as a new survey* reveals almost one in five of dog owners in the South East spend less than two weeks researching before buying a dog and 13% confessed to buying a dog simply because it was a cute accessory.
The survey also revealed that one in 12 people admit to buying or receiving a dog as a Christmas gift. The dog owning public also significantly underestimated the financial cost of dog ownership with 61% believing their dog will cost them less than the actual cost of £10,000 during its lifetime.
Tracey Rae, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Shoreham, explains: “In the weeks following Christmas last year we received 275 calls from owners wanting to give up their dog.
“That is so sad as dogs deserve to be treated as a member of the family. They aren’t disposable commodities; they are a huge commitment and should be for life.”
“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’.”
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 for the duration of its lifetime.
THE DOS AND DON’TS OF GETTING A DOG
1. Ask to see Mum and pup together
2. Visit your new pup more than once
3. Get all your pup’s paperwork before going home
4. Walk away if you are at all unsure
5. Report suspicious sellers or breeders
6. Take your puppy to your own vet for a health check asap
1. Meet anywhere that isn’t the pup’s home
2. Buy a pup from anyone who can supply various breeds on demand
3. Buy a pup that looks too young/small or underweight
4. Feel pressure to buy a puppy
5. Buy a pup that you suspect has been illegally imported
To find out more about what to consider when getting a dog