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Pair of puppies abandoned in snow

Two 12-week-old puppies will be spending Christmas recovering at the Dogs Trust after being cruelly abandoned in the freezing snow.

The tiny dogs, who have been named Brandy and Pudding by staff, were discovered by a dog warden after they were dumped in Reading just three days before Christmas.

Brandy, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was left on a street, while Pudding, a Boxer cross, was abandoned in snowy woodland with a distended stomach. The pair are now getting round-the-clock care from staff at the Dogs Trust Newbury and will be available to be re-homed in the new year.

Maureen Iggleden, Dogs Trust Newbury re-homing centre manager, said: "We suspect Brandy and Pudding may have been bought as Christmas presents and dumped when their owners realised the work involved in looking after a puppy.

"Our centre looks after hundreds of abandoned and unwanted dogs every year but it still shocks us to think that someone could so callously abandon a puppy, especially in these weather conditions."

Dogs Trust chief executive Clarissa Baldwin added: "Sadly there are still people out there who think pets are as disposable as Christmas wrapping paper. Our research this year revealed that one in five parents would still consider buying their child a dog for Christmas, even though most presents are discarded by their bored recipients after just four weeks."

To help discourage people from thoughtlessly buying dogs as Christmas presents, the charity's 17 re-homing centres have put a hold on re-homing dogs from December 19 to January 2, 2011. People are still able to visit the centres and reserve a dog, but will not be able to take it home until the new year.

Meanwhile, the RSPCA has also appealed for information after a dog was left tied to a post outside a supermarket. The Staffordshire bull terrier was seen on CCTV with a young woman outside Sainsbury's in Cobham, Surrey, just before 8pm on December 11.

Investigating RSPCA inspector Dave Johnson said: "Initially it was thought that the women may just have been distracted and forgotten the dog. However, she did not return to the store that night and she does not appear to have contacted anyone to attempt to find it so this could be a deliberate abandonment."

Anyone with information can contact the RSPCA cruelty and information line confidentially on 0300 1234 999.

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