Dogs Trust Ilfracombe prepares for influx of abandoned dogs this festive season
Thirty six years on from the birth of its famous slogan “A dog is for life not just for Christmas”, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust, which has a local centre in Ilfracombe is bracing itself for another busy Christmas.
To help prevent people getting dogs as Christmas presents, Dogs Trust’s 20 Rehoming Centres do not usually rehome dogs from December 22, 2014 to January 2, 2015.
However, some dogs may benefit from going to their new homes sooner so staff will be able to advise potential adopters on the needs of individual dogs.
People will be able to visit the centres and reserve a dog every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the centre’s usual closed day. Visit www.dogstrust.org.uk or call your local centre for visiting times.
Christmas at the Rehoming Centre
As well as taking in any abandoned dogs over the Christmas period, the dogs still need feeding, the kennels still need cleaning and the dogs need to be walked and cuddled. Many of our carers have to hand feed pups throughout the night over the Christmas period too.
Sally Ellis, Dogs Trust Ilfracombe rehoming centre manager, said:
“Christmas day at the Rehoming Centre is made to be as jolly as possible with staff and volunteers wearing tinsel and hats, decorating the reception area, playing Christmas tunes and spoiling the 40 rescue dogs who are staying at the centre whilst they look for new homes.
“While other people are preparing the turkey, staff at the centre will be hands on cleaning the kennels. They then bring out the stockings filled with toys and gifts sent in from dog lovers all over the country and go to each kennel and hand the dogs new toys and treats. The dogs are also treated to a sausage for Christmas supper before bedding down after a fun-filled day.
“While the dogs in our care will get the chance to enjoy the festive season, sadly this isn’t the case for hundreds of dogs who are abandoned every Christmas. Many pups are discarded soon after being given as presents or older dogs are given up to make way for newer pups and we expect this year to be no different. We urge anyone thinking of getting a dog during this busy period to seriously think about the commitment involved before making your decision.”
Reasons given to Dogs Trust staff as to why owners could no longer look after their dog:
“He kept chasing frogs”
“He looked different after we walked him in the rain”
“He was too loving and needed too much attention”
“I’m worried our toddler will copy him and poo in the garden”
“He’s too playful – we haven’t sat down since we got him”
“My dog is old and going to die soon”
“He was scared of the cat next door ”
“He barks every morning”
“He wags his tail too much”
“She’s seems hungry all the time and follows me around the house”
“He kept coughing in the night and woke me up”
“All the puppy did was sleep. We wanted a dog we could play with”
Dogs Trust carries out rigorous checks to ensure dogs in its care are rehomed for life to responsible families. However, with nearly 17,000 abandoned dogs per year coming through the charity’s doors, and many looking online to buy a puppy in time for Christmas, people are still taking on the responsibility of dog ownership without enough consideration of what it entails.
Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust Chief Executive, explains: “Our slogan is 36 years old this year but sadly we continue to see dogs abandoned time and again over the Christmas period. Many of these dogs are bought impulsively online and discarded once the reality of the commitment needed sets in. It’s important to think carefully about the long term cost and responsibility involved before deciding to introduce a four-legged friend into your home and we hope people will heed this advice because ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.’
Dogs Trust is the UK’s leading dog welfare charity and has a network of 20 Rehoming Centres across the UK and one in Ireland. The charity cares for nearly 17,000 stray, unwanted and abandoned dogs each year. Dogs Trust has a non-destruction policy, and will never put a healthy dog to sleep. The charity is working towards the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.
Anyone interested in visiting the centre or rehoming a dog can call Dogs Trust Ilfracombe, Hazledene, West Down, Ilfracombe, North Devon EX34 8NU. Or visit www.dogstrust.org.uk for more information.
(from a press release)