UK

Rise in number of dogs abandoned in Christmas run-up

Jack, a four-month old dog surrendered by his owner to the DSPCA on Thursday 30 November Image copyright DSPCA
Image caption Four-month-old Jack was surrendered by his owner to the DSPCA on Thursday

Charities in the UK and Ireland are seeing an increase in dogs being dumped or sent to rescue centres.

The RSPCA has rescued 120 in two weeks.

And on Wednesday the charity was called out after six pups thought to have been bred on a puppy farm to meet the Christmas demand for pets were found dead in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

Supt Simon Osborne said: "During the festive season alone last year, we rescued over 25,000 animals, many of which had been cruelly abandoned."

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The six puppies were wrapped in children's clothing

Insp Jaime Godfrey said the six puppies had been "wrapped up in two kids' T-shirts and a towel inside a bag that had simply been chucked on to the verge".

Image copyright DSPCA
Image caption These puppies were abandoned in freezing conditions after dark on the streets of County Dublin on Thursday

"There are lots of unscrupulous breeders and dealers out there who are indiscriminately breeding and importing puppies to make a quick buck during the Christmas frenzy," he added.

Also this week, the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been asked to re-home more than 25 dogs and 20 cats, some of them last year's Christmas presents.

"It is not unheard of for pet owners to surrender their pet dog as it has become 'too bold', only to replace it with a new puppy at Christmas," head of education Gillian Bird said.

"We have heard all the excuses possible.

"My personal favourite was from a family who felt that their old and slightly smelly dog did not fit in to the newly refurbished kitchen where they would be preparing and eating Christmas dinner with their extended family."

Image copyright Hounds First
Image caption Bull lurcher Rocco was found tied to railings on 26 December 2016

Tracie Gledhill, who chairs the Hounds First charity, does not rehome dogs between 16 December and 6 January each year, in a bid to discourage people from getting dogs for Christmas.

Meanwhile, the Dogs Trust, which 39 years ago came up with the campaign slogan "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas," has this week been asked to re-home 43 dogs at just one of its 20 rescue centres, in Harefield, west London.

Spokeswoman Lucy Morgan said by last Christmas the charity had been receiving 19 calls a day.

By Victoria Park, UGC and Social News

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