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.
The charity had a 30% increase in people looking to give up their dog in January 2018, compared to the previous year and the charity wants to clamp down on this happening. Ciara Byrne, Communications Manager for Dog's Trust explained on Newstalk that they received 2,840 surrender requests - those wanting to give back their dogs - this year, with 897 of those calls and e-mails in the first three months of 2018 alone.
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.
The main reason so many people give up their dogs after Christmas is due to timing; they don't have the time needed to dedicate to the dog and for example, walk them as much as they need to be, Ciara explained.
Today, we announced we will suspend the rehoming of dogs from our Rehoming Centre over the festive period to prevent people rushing out to get a dog for Christmas. Christmas is not a good time to take on a new dog, especially a puppy.
— Dogs Trust Ireland (@DogsTrust_IE) 10 December 2018
"Having a dog is a lifetime commitment. Dogs can live up to 13 years and can coast up to €10,000 over the course of their lifetime."
“Christmas is not a good time to take on a new dog, especially a puppy. It's the worst time of year to take on a dog. 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. People are so busy, they just don't have the time to invest in a dog over Christmas," she continued.
The last re-homing day will be December 16th, and the charity will restart adoptions again on January 5th 2019.
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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.
Suzie Carley, executive director at Dogs Trust, added: “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. Dogs Trust coined the phrase 'A dog is for life, not just for Christmas' 40 years ago this year, and sadly it is still as relevant today as it was then."
"We hope that by spreading this message that it will encourage people to wait and consider adding a dog to their family in the New Year instead, when the festivities have died down."