Belfast Telegraph

Dogs Trust suspends adoptions until after Christmas

An animal charity has halted its rehoming service over the Christmas period to prevent people rushing out at the last minute to get a dog as a gift. (stock photo)
An animal charity has halted its rehoming service over the Christmas period to prevent people rushing out at the last minute to get a dog as a gift. (stock photo)
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

An animal charity has halted its rehoming service over the Christmas period to prevent people rushing out at the last minute to get a dog as a gift.

Dogs Trust said the decision was made after receiving 667 surrender requests in the first three months of the year.

The charity will also be suspending a weekly Puppy Cam until the new year in a bid to focus on the total of 2,100 surrender and rehoming requests it has received in 2019 so far.

It will restart adoptions again on January 4, with executive director Becky Bristow saying people need to be reminded of the long term commitment involved in pet ownership.

"Dogs Trust coined the phrase 'A dog is for life, not just for Christmas' over 40 years ago, and sadly it is still as relevant today as it was then," she said.

"Christmas is not a good time to take on a new dog, especially a puppy. It is critical that dogs are provided with basic training and positive socialisation experiences in those first few months to set them up for the best start in life. Many people, often with the very best intentions, are simply unable to provide this at a busy time like Christmas.

"Each year we are saddened and worried by the number of people looking to relinquish their dog, especially in the first few months after Christmas. It's no surprise that January continues to have the highest number of surrender requests.

"We hope this will remind people that a dog is a long-term commitment and will encourage people to wait and consider adding a dog to their family in the new year instead, when the festivities have died down," she added. "We would encourage those who have made the decision to get a dog in the New Year to consider adopting from your local rescue centre, local pound or Dogs Trust and give a rescue dog the best second chance in life.

"Unfortunately we receive a large number of surrender requests each day and with the limited space that we have in our rehoming centre, we are simply unable to help everyone. We prioritise taking in dogs at risk of being put to sleep. We also endeavour to take in vulnerable surrender dogs when possible."

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