The Dogs Trust says it received 55 phone calls as early as the 5th of January this year from people who wanted to surrender their new pet.
The charity says over the last 12 months there has been a 110 per cent increase in people abandoning their dog.
One of the top reasons given by owners surrendering an animal is 'he smells of dog' - other excuses given are 'he doesn't look like his picture on the website', 'he chewed an expensive sofa' and 'he can't do tricks'.
The charity says it deals with more than 1,000 abandoned dogs every year and they are encouraging people to consider the responsibility of dog ownership before getting a new pet.
Reasons given to Dogs Trust staff as to why owners could no longer look after their dog:
- “The puppy was bought as a present for elderly couple".
- “He barks when left on his own”.
- “My dog doesn’t look like what he did on the website”
- “My dog was too old and no longer brought me any joy”
- “The puppy went to the toilet all over the house and it hurts my back to pick up my dog’s poop”
- “He chewed my expensive sofa”
- “He isn’t as cute as when I first got him”
- “He can’t do any tricks”
- “He grew too big for my house”
- “He smells, of dog”
Mark Beazley, Dogs Trust Executive Director, explains:
“The A dog is for life, not just for Christmas slogan is just as relevant today as it was when we created it many years ago. Some of the reasons we hear for dogs being abandoned are truly outrageous and saddening. Having a dog is a long-term commitment and Christmas offers the perfect opportunity to remind people that dogs are not fashion accessories or disposable items that can be upgraded or discarded after just a few months.”
What to consider if you want a puppy….
Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment. The average dog lives for 13 years.
- Dogs aren’t cheap to care for. You should expect to spend around €10,000 over his lifetime depending on the size of the dog.
- Puppies can be extremely hard work for an owner, particularly if there are young children in the house – do you have enough time to spend with your pup?
- Dogs don’t come fully trained. They can cause a lot of damage to your possessions through chewing and accidents. How committed are you to training your dog?
- Christmas is always a very hectic time of year with relatives and friends arriving. This isn’t the best time to introduce your new dog to the house.
Online sale/purchase of puppies
- Dogs Trust acknowledges that the internet is an accessible way of purchasing gifts quickly, but the impulse buying of pets and animals poses the enormous risk of attracting many unscrupulous breeders.
- Consumers could, unintentially, end up purchasing a pet online from a puppy farm. Such puppies often have physical and behavioural problems as a result of poor breeding and transportation conditions.
- Dogs Trust urges people to think carefully about the type of dog they want and to be extremely selective about who and where they buy it from. It is vital that people undertake as much research as possible to ensure they obtain a healthy legally bred dog and to avoid the unnecessary costs associated with buying at the ‘click of the mouse’.