Dogs Trust


Have you noticed any mysterious paw prints around Dublin city with the hashtag #PawsForThought?

Paws because last year, 12,549 dogs entered Irish pounds.

Paws because 1,522 of them were needlessly destroyed.

Paws because Dogs Trust had a 58% spike in surrender requests after Christmas last year.

Paws because a dog is for LIFE, not just for Christmas®.

Please… Pause.

And think twice before getting a dog this Christmas

You may have noticed large rather mysterious paw prints dotted around the streets of Dublin this morning with the hashtag #PawsForThought. We later revealed it was us behind the paw prints by putting our logo under some of the oversized paw prints. To remind people of our Christmas message that ‘A Dog is for life, not just for Christmas®’, we are urging people to "pause" and think about the lifelong commitment and responsibility that comes with owning a dog and then wait until after Christmas to consider taking on a new addition to the family.

The stunt was created using clean graffiti to represent the owners that wash their hands of the responsibility and commitment that comes with owning a dog. We revealed that 756 people contacted Dogs Trust within the first three months after Christmas last year to relinquish their dogs, compared to 479 in the same period the previous year. This equates to an alarming 58% increase in the number of owners looking to surrender their dogs. We also recorded that the most common reason for someone wanting to give up their dog was that they didn’t have enough time anymore.

Unfortunately, with over 1,000 abandoned dogs per year coming through our 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.

How you can help

Will you #PawsForThought πŸΎπŸ€” and help spread our message this Christmas, we would love if you could #PawsForThought 🐾🐾 by posting your Paws or Pause Pose on social media, with pictures of you or your furry friends pausing for thought!
Find us on Facebook or follow the conversation on Twitter @DogsTrust_IE and Instagram using the hashtag #PawsForThought

Sponsor a Dog this Christmas

Click to find out more about Sponsoring a Dog

You can give the gift of life this Christmas by Sponsoring a dog instead. You can save lives and give abandoned dogs the second chance that they deserve. Sponsoring a dog is the Christmas gift that gives all year round.

We want to make sponsoring a dog extra special this Christmas!  Sponsor a dog for you or your loved ones before 19th December and we will send you an exclusively designed Dogs Trust Christmas decoration in time for Christmas.  You will get your beautifully presented gift for under the Christmas Tree before your certificate and welcome packs arrive in the New Year. 

Sponsorship by dog lovers like you helps us provide stray & abandoned dogs with warm beds to sleep in, food to eat, walks and cuddles, and important things like medicine and vet care to while they wait for their Forever Homes. Sponsor a dog online here.

Reasons why getting a dog at Christmas is not a good idea:

Attention – A puppy, especially one who has recently left the comfort of his littermates and Mum will crave attention and comfort and you may just not have the time to provide this at a busy time like Christmas.

Guests - Christmas is often the busiest time of year in homes with lots of guests and excitement: this can be over whelming for any puppy! If puppies are over whelmed and frightened by visitors this can easily lead to behaviour problems in the future.

Housetraining – Housetraining a puppy takes a few weeks, lots of patience, routine and consistency with the whole family, and most importantly you need to be there to recognise when your puppy needs to ‘go’. With the festivities, this can be difficult to do as your concentration can be on preparing meals and wrapping presents etc.

Trees & Decorations - Christmas can be a wonderful time of the year for most of us but with lots of forbidden foods and decorations within reach, it can be a very busy time for veterinary practices around the country! Chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and alcohol are toxic to dogs and rich fatty foods can cause serious damage. You’d need eyes on the back of your head with a puppy around all of these harmful temptations!

Gifts – There are usually lots of new, expensive gifts lying around at Christmas and puppies like and need to chew; they cannot differentiate between cheap and expensive items.

Timing – Gifts at Christmas are an indulgence for our loved ones – puppies are a 15 year commitment and simply not a material item to be gifted as a surprise. Puppies need stability, routine and a calm environment to settle into, and as wonderful as Christmas is, this is not the time of the year to make such a commitment.

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®"

Will you #PawsForThought πŸΎπŸ€” and help spread our message this Christmas, we would love if you could #PawsForThought 🐾🐾 by posting your Paws or Pause Pose on social media, with pictures of you or your furry friends pausing for though!
Find us on Facebook or follow the conversation on Twitter @DogsTrust_IE and Instagram using the hashtag #PawsForThought