'It's hard for us to see' - Plea to think hard before giving dogs as gifts this Christmas
PUBLISHED: 06:00 26 December 2019
Scribbles the Bloodhound and Sky the Labrador cross thought they had found their forever home but after ten years with their owner they had to be given up. Now at their temporary home at Dogs Trust in Snetterton the only comfort they have is each other.
Staff at a dog rehoming centre said they have had to "harden their hearts" as they see thousands of unwanted dogs come into their care every year.
But as the festive season is in full swing, Dogs Trust want to remind the public of its campaign that 'dogs are for life, not just for Christmas'.
Paige Pope, support relations officer at the Snetterton branch, said: "It's so easy to adopt a dog nowadays, especially online. At the click of a button you can purchase a puppy.
"We see a 44pc increase in the number of people looking to adopt a new dog over the Christmas period, but the sad part is when it gets to January/February we see an increase in people looking to give up their dogs."
Dogs Trust are urging people not to buy a dog as a gift without thinking about the lifelong commitment it takes to care for a pet.
At the trust's Snetterton branch they receive around 500 dogs every year and altogether its 20 rehoming centre's care for 15,000 dogs.
Although staff are used to seeing them come and go, they want to emphasise how important it is to make sure their furry friends can find their forever home with the right owners.
Ms Pope added: "As lovely as dog ownership is we really recommend to do your research, look at the type of breed you are interested in, your life style, and family, financial costs, who will look after your dog if you go on holiday, training and behaviourists in case they need a bit of extra support.
"It is hard for us to see, especially when you work here every day of the year and you see these dogs coming in and you have to really harden your heart to it."
Despite the tail wags and excitement as you approach the kennels, visitors are reminded of the sad reality of these unwanted dogs who have been left without a home.
"As lovely as our kennels are, we find being in kennels long term can be detrimental to their wellbeing and happiness," said Ms Pope.
"We get them out as much as we can for walks and to fuss them for socialization but unfortunately it's not always enough so we try and get them into homes as quickly as possible."
After becoming distressed when they were separated, Scribbles and Sky are still looking for their new forever home and an owner who can love them both - for life and not just for Christmas.