51 dogs, 51 excuses.... #canaldogs
Before dawn broke on the 19th of November, Dogs Trust staff members placed 51 cardboard cut-outs of dogs along Dublin’s busy Grand Canal. The cut-outs represented the 51 phone calls Dogs Trust received in one day alone last January, from members of the public looking to surrender their unwanted dogs.
Printed onto the 51 cut-outs were some of the reasons given by people as to why they could no longer look after their dog. Some of the reasons included, “He’s too old”, “I can’t cope with the puppy’s behaviour”, “We don’t love the dog anymore”, “The honeymoon period is over”, “we have a new baby” and “We’re down-sizing”. Each dog also featured the hashtag #canaldogs - with the hope of inspiring people to take to social media and ask why these dogs were actually there.
Mark Beazley, Dogs Trust Executive Director, explains,
“We wanted to try something a little different for our Christmas Campaign this year in order to attract the public’s attention and hopefully spread our charities message of ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ throughout Ireland. We really wish to encourage those thinking of getting a dog to take due consideration at any time of the year and especially when buying a dog for Christmas. Very often homes can be quite frenetic during the festive season and it may not be the best time for a dog, especially a puppy, to be introduced into an environment where the normal routine is disrupted. In the New Year, when the Christmas festivities have died down, we would encourage those who have made the decision to get a dog to consider adopting a dog from your local rescue centre, local pound and Dogs Trust”.
Unfortunately, with over 1,000 abandoned dogs per year coming through the charity’s doors, and thousands more the charity cannot possibly take in, people are still taking on the responsibility of dog ownership without enough consideration of what it really entails.
What to consider if you want a puppy:
• Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment. The average dog lives for 13 years.
• Dogs aren’t cheap to care for. You should expect to spend around €10,000 over his lifetime depending on the size of the dog.
• Puppies can be extremely hard work for an owner, particularly if there are young children in the house – do you have enough time to spend with your pup?
• Dogs don’t come fully trained. They can cause a lot of damage to your possessions through chewing and accidents. How committed are you to training your dog?
• Christmas is always a very hectic time of year with relatives and friends arriving. This isn’t the best time to introduce your new dog to the house.
Online sale/purchase of puppies:
• Dogs Trust acknowledges that the internet is an accessible way of purchasing gifts quickly, but the impulse buying of pets and animals poses the enormous risk of attracting many unscrupulous breeders.
• Consumers could, unintentionally, end up purchasing a pet online from a puppy farm. Such puppies often have physical and behavioural problems as a result of poor breeding and transportation conditions.
• Dogs Trust urges people to think carefully about the type of dog they want and to be extremely selective about who and where they buy it from.
It is vital that people undertake as much research as possible to ensure they obtain a healthy legally bred dog and to avoid the unnecessary costs associated with buying at the ‘click of the mouse’.
Remember, "A Dog is for life, not just for Christmas®"
Head over to Twitter or Facebook and search under #canaldogs to see all the interaction around the campaign. And make sure to check out our behind the scenes video below!