Charity urges people not to give dogs as Christmas presents
PUBLISHED: 10:54 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:12 06 November 2019
Abandoned cold and whimpering - that was the moment a member of the public came across a box of puppies that had been left in a park.
This is what the animal welfare charity, Dogs Trust, witnesses every year and why their 40-year slogan 'A dog is for life, not just for Christmas' is just as important today.
Dandelion and Burdock were two Mexican hairless puppies found just after Christmas, when it was believed that their owners no longer wanted them.
Dehydrated and frightened, they were brought to a Dogs Trust centre where they were cared for and eventually found their forever home.
As the holidays are approaching figures have revealed that online searches for puppies skyrocket by 44pc in the countdown to Christmas. But when the festive season comes to an end, a spokesman from Dogs Trust based at Snetterton, near Thetford, said they see the biggest influx of dogs being returned or owners wanting to give them up.
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Paige Pope, supporter relations officer at the Snetterton branch, said: "Dog ownership is wonderful but we ask people if they are ready for the long term commitment of owning a dog. That is why we are urging people not gift dogs as presents.
"In January alone this year the Snetterton and Basildon branch received 261 calls and we even received calls on Christmas Day from people who wanted to give up their dog."
The animal welfare charity are urging those looking for a dog need to do their research, including what breed would suit their lifestyle or family, financial costs, who will look after the dog if their owners go away and training.
This plea comes as the charity launches its first ever Christmas TV advert, which aims to put out this message that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.
Ms Pope added: "Its one of those things that can be upsetting to watch but it's that time of year we want to get that message out there about the right way to get a dog.
"Here at Snetterton we look after over 500 dogs in a year. We want people to adopt rescue dogs but at the same time it's not a decision you should take lightly."