Dogs Trust, Ireland's largest dog welfare charity, will suspend the re-homing of dogs in their centre over the Christmas period in an effort to prevent people from rushing out and making a purchase simply because it's the festive season.
Having a dog is a full-time commitment, something that, even with the sweetest of intentions, can get lost on those who make a purchase in the heat of the festivities.
Dogs Trust announced it would not offer any dogs for re-homing from the close of business last night until January 4th. The charity will also put its live 'puppy cam' — which streams footage of puppies at its shelter in Finglas, Dublin, every Friday afternoon — on hold over the same period.
The measures have been taken to discourage people from giving a dog or puppy as a Christmas gift, according to the charity's executive director Becky Bristow.
"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.
"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 and reinforces our need to go out with our message every year that 'A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.'"
We are suspending adoptions over the festive period from Dec 16th to Jan 4th. However, our Rehoming team will still be available to chat to anybody thinking of adopting in the new year. If you do decide to buy rather than adopt in the new year, please beware of online sellers ? pic.twitter.com/ZN6CEy1xwG
— Dogs Trust Ireland (@DogsTrust_IE) December 16, 2019
"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," she continued.
The last re-homing day concluded yesterday, and the charity will restart adoptions again on January 4th 2020.
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While its centre in Finglas will remain open to the public during that time, so people can visit all the dogs looking for homes — they won't be able to formally adopt until January so they have the period to consider and decide whether they really do want to consider a dog.
"From January to October 2019, over 1,900 people across Ireland contacted us, looking to surrender their dog. The most common reason provided was that they didn’t have enough time anymore. We are urging people to think about the lifelong commitment and responsibility that comes with owning a dog and to wait until after Christmas to consider taking on a new addition to the family," the charity added on Instagram.