Sunday, 27 December 2009

A dog is for life...

Dog charity refuses to rehouse animals over the festive period to stop New Year return

girl and dog
The country’s largest dog welfare charity is refusing to rehouse animals over the Christmas period to prevent unwanted pets being returned in the New Year.

The Dogs Trust said animals can be viewed and reserved but not taken away – despite all its 18 rehousing centres nationwide being full.

The ban started on December 20 and ends on January 2, giving potential dog owners time to consider whether they really want the animal.

In the 31 years since the charity dreamed up the slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, there has been a 90 per cent reduction in the number of dogs given
as gifts. Last year the figure was down to 131,400.

But Adam Levy, assistant manager of the Dogs Trust rehoming centre in Harefield, West London, said thousands are still abandoned over Christmas. 
He added: ‘The weeks after Christmas are traditionally one of our busiest periods because lots of people are given puppies as unwanted presents, or people who wanted a dog soon realise they require a lot of time and effort which they are not prepared to give.

‘Some of the excuses we hear from dog owners abandoning their newly acquired pets are truly ludicrous.
A woman once said she was giving up her dog because the colour of its fur clashed with her living room furniture. 

Another irresponsible owner complained the dog had to be given up because it urinated on her favourite rug.
‘And a set of owners wanted to give up their new puppy because it was not house-trained when they took it home.’ 

Mr Levy added: ‘We have 150 dogs at our centre and are completely full. At present there is a four-month waiting list for a place at the centre but in the next few weeks we will be contacted by lots of owners wanting to give us their unwanted pet.’

Centre manager Richard Moore said: ‘A dog is a long-term commitment, not a fashion accessory or disposable item that can be upgraded or discarded after just a few months.’

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