Dog charity warns rising number of abandoned dogs at Christmas is out of hand

Large dog stands in front of christmas tree dog-serious
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A leading canine charity rails against buying a dog as a present. The UK Dogs Trust discourages well-meaning buyers who do not realise the commitment required of a dog owner.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 25/12/2019, 22:00

The manager of the Leeds branch of the charity says Christmas intake is up by over 10%, from an average of 85 dogs in care to 100. Amanda Sands blames misguided pre-Christmas adoptions for the increase which lead to many dogs being returned to the shelter and an uncertain New Year.


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Ms Sands also said the shelter had received a dog from a family who simply “did not want it around” over the festive period. 

Our message is very much that people must never get a dog for somebody else,” Sands told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “They mean well but you can't make that commitment for someone else. 

“It is a 10 to 15 year commitment. In any case re-homing at Christmas does slow down and we have a lot of dogs coming in.”

Christmas at the kennel

The Dogs Trust goes above and beyond its normal daily care at this time of the year. Individual staff members are generally assigned to a number of dogs to give the animal a sense of continuity.

Explains Sands: “Every day is the same day; it is a normal day for us but with a nice touch. They [the dogs] are walked and get a Christmas dinner of turkey, vegetables and potatoes mixed in with their food.

They all get a Christmas stocking. People are very generous at this time of year and bring in all sorts for the dogs."


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The Dogs Trust recently announced it had suspended all new adoption applications until after the New Year. We reported on the charity's attempt to kerb the rise in unwanted pets by temporarily disallowing the adoption of dogs, especially those intended as Christmas presents.

TIP: In short, you should resist the temptation to buy a dog for someone else, unless you are certain they will dedicate the time and effort to looking after it for its whole life.

The same applies to people who wish to adopt a dog for themselves. Such an undertaking should be carefully considered and not left to impulse.


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