Dog charities gear up for flood of unwanted animals bought as Christmas presents

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By Bethany Armer

AS THE festive period approaches animal charities are gearing up for an influx of unwanted dogs.

Traditionally, in the aftermath of Christmas, West Yorkshire Dog Rescue sees a rise in calls from people wanting to give up pets which have been bought as presents. They get around 70 calls per day, compared with around 30 calls at other times of the year.

Charity founder Kathy Trout said: “We have rehomed 400 dogs over the past 12 months.

“We and other rescue organisations simply cannot cope with this influx of dogs as we haven’t got the spaces needed, so there is a big increase in dogs on the streets.

“We had a Cairn Terrier puppy offered to us last Boxing Day by people who had paid £700 for it on Christmas Eve.

“Also after Christmas a number of older dogs are abandoned as older dogs don’t like puppies as they play bite with needle sharp teeth and when the older dog growls at the new puppy people throw the old dog out.”

The RSPCA investigates more than 140,000 complaints of cruelty and neglect every year.

A spokesperson said: “The RSPCA does not advise the giving of pets as presents unless it is known that the person receiving the pet is willing to take on the responsibility of having a pet, can afford to do so and can give them everything they need to be happy and healthy throughout their life.

“Christmas can be a busy and hectic time for many households. Unusual noise, activities and extra demands can make it difficult for any pet to settle into their new homes so it is not always the best time to introduce them into the household.

“If you are confident that you can meet a pet’s needs, then please consider visiting your local RSPCA centre.”

Over 47,000 dogs were abandoned in the year 2014-2015 according to the Dogs Trust annual Stray Dog Survey.

Dogs Trust’s chief executive, Adrian Burder said: “Sadly, there are many understandable reasons why people have to give up their dogs and we appreciate that circumstances can change beyond their control, however we cannot fathom that dogs should lose their security, comfort and home for such reasons they ‘ate the banoffee pie’ or ‘sat in front of the TV when the football was on’.”

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