Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust received 235 requests from people looking to surrender their dog after Christmas this year

Dogs Trust received an average of 6 requests to surrender a dog every day in the month following Christmas 

We continue to see a large volume of people looking to surrender their dog after Christmas, as the reality of dog ownership and the long-term commitment involved, begins to set in for unprepared families. Between 27th December 2019 and 31st January 2020, we recorded an alarming 185 calls and 50 emails from members of public trying to relinquish their dog.  

The most common reason given was that ‘the dog was exhibiting unwanted behaviour’. This could be attributed to a lack of socialisation and training which is critical in those first few months to ensure they become a well-rounded dog. Every year, we urge the public to wait until after Christmas to welcome a dog, especially a puppy, into their home. Although many people often have good intentions, Christmas is simply too busy a time to provide the basic training and positive socialisation experiences a puppy or any dog entering a new home needs.

An upsetting case arriving in January at our Rehoming Centre in Finglas was a heavily pregnant Lurcher ‘Banana’ who was brought to the Charity just in time to give birth to nine puppies.

Karla Dunne, Head of Operations at Dogs Trust Ireland said;

“January is one of the busiest months for us and sadly this year is no different. Although we are pleased to see a reduction in surrender requests after Christmas this year, we are seeing a lot of vulnerable dogs coming through our doors, which is so incredibly heart-breaking as many of the dogs we have taken in have been pregnant. Thankfully we have a purpose built ‘Mutt-ernity Wing’ to care for pregnant dogs and give them a safe space to give birth. Banana is just one of the pregnant mums who we have taken in this year, but with every pregnant dog, comes a litter of puppies born who will need love, warmth, round the clock care and when old enough, a Forever Home”

Becky Bristow, Executive Director at Dogs Trust Ireland added;

“We are pleased that our annual campaigns, reminding people that “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®”, are resonating with the public as we saw a 36% reduction in the number of people looking to surrender their dog to us after Christmas compared to last year. We hope that our educational messaging is having a positive impact on the number of dogs being bought in haste for Christmas.

Becky continues: “Although the numbers are decreasing, we are still concerned to be receiving over 6 surrender requests each day which is a highly alarming number! This shows that many people are still not fully considering all aspects of dog ownership including the essential socialisation and training needs, the cost involved and life-long commitment of dog ownership. We are pleading with the public to please try to anticipate any major lifestyle changes such as an upcoming move, a new baby and consider how a dog may impact this before bringing one into your home.”

We recognise that there are genuine cases of people needing to rehome their dogs, so we have published some helpful advice about responsibly rehoming a dog. For more information, please visit www.DogsTrust.ie/HelpICantLookAfterMyDog.

In response to last week’s Government announcement, we made the decision to close our Dublin Rehoming Centre to the general public until further notice. This will continue to be monitored in line with governmental advice. This decision was made in order to protect the best interests of our rehoming team, who are keeping the dogs happy and healthy. The welfare and safety of our staff, the dogs and the most vulnerable members of society are of paramount importance, so we have introduced a series of preventative measures to ensure we protect people as much as possible and adhere to Government guidelines.

If you are interested in adopting a dog from Dogs Trust, please email our Rehoming Team, rather than coming to the centre, via [email protected] and we will be able to send you a rehoming questionnaire to start the process of adoption!

In this unprecedented time of need, we need your support more than ever to help care for the dogs in our centre so we are asking the public to support our work by sponsoring a dog.

For all other queries, concerns, or an existing appointment, please call 01 8791 000 or email [email protected].