The Christmas holiday proves to be a popular time for people to buy dogs as presents for their family members, but these animals should not be seen as gifts. Welcoming any pet into a household requires the responsibility of treating it like a family member. Unfortunately, this is not the case in every one of those situations.
Dog welfare charity Dogs Trust Ireland has found a staggering 394 post-Christmas surrender requests for the period between Christmas Day and the end of January. The charity explained the reason for dogs being brought back was due to “dogs exhibiting unwanted behaviours, owners not having enough time to spend with their dogs and the difficulties of finding pet-friendly accommodation”.
Dogs can be a magical and beautiful present for Christmas time, but families need to consider the responsibility of caring for and making a dog feel welcome. Training and patience are required for a new dog as new families are strangers to them.
They need their time to adjust too. Families should make sure they have the required list of needs for dogs before purchasing one.
Dogs Trust is urgently appealing for donations so they can cope with the number of dogs that they need to care for, “especially the dogs raised during the lockdown which require extra behavioural support, meaning they are spending longer in our care”.
“As a charity that relies solely on the generosity of our supporters, we are appealing for donations as the current dog crisis is putting a huge strain on our resources,” said Ciara Byrne, Head of Communications at Dogs Trust.
“We are taking in more and more dogs with behavioural issues who then spend more time with us as our dedicated team works with them, to get them to a stage where they can be adopted. We are thankful that so many people contact us for help and advice about their dogs and don’t resort to abandoning them.
“We try to help where we can, from our online dog school training classes to advice available on our website, our aim is to keep as many dogs as possible happy in their existing homes.”
Collie’s sisters, Serena and Venus were pregnant when they were surrendered to the shelter in December. The puppies have found their forever homes, but the two sisters now hope to find their own. The dogs are unsocialised and unused to being walked on a lead or the sounds of traffic. They are currently looking for a quiet home where they can slowly come out of their shell.
Speaking about dogs like this, The Regional Rehoming Manager at Dogs Trust Ireland, Eimear Cassidy said “sadly, we are struggling to rehome medium to large size dogs, especially those who are nervous or worried, as they need quite specific homes.
“We are appealing to people who work from home or are home a lot of the day, live in quieter areas, don’t have children under sixteen and who are willing to give a dog a few months to settle in, to please contact us.
“We understand that people have preferences for certain breeds, but it breaks our hearts to see so many beautiful, bigger dogs being overlooked while the smaller dogs are generally quickly adopted,” she said.