Animal Welfare Charities Bracing For Thousands Of Calls About Unwanted Christmas Puppies

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Year after year, animal shelters, rescue groups, and veterinarians urge people to reconsider buying their loved ones pets as Christmas gifts. A pet is a big commitment, and one that is for years, not just on a special holiday. But it seems that the number of people bringing home animals for under the Christmas tree is on the rise, despite these pleas.

One particular animal welfare charity in the U.K., Dogs Trust, is expecting to get over 5,000 calls within the next few weeks from people hoping to get rid of puppies they received over the festive season as presents. As reported by Unilad, at the beginning of 2018, in the weeks after Christmas 2017, the organization received a total of 4,827 calls from people who wanted to turn their dogs over to the charity.

Adam Clowes, operations director at Dogs Trust, has explained that while they receive calls for any number of reasons, many of those calls at that time of the year are about dogs and puppies who were Christmas presents. Dogs Trust also reports an increase in the number of calls every single year for the past few years, suggesting that the number of people who gift pooches on Christmas is on the rise.

In January 2016, they received 3,400 calls, and in January 2017, 3,596. This year’s figure stood at 4,827. As a result, the organization is bracing itself to field over 5,000 come January 2019.

“After nearly 40 years highlighting our iconic slogan, ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, we hoped that this would be the Christmas that the message would finally sink in,” Dawn Bishop from Dogs Trust stated. “But it seems that, in this day and age, where puppies are readily available at the click of a button, people are still choosing to purchase a dog on impulse, without thinking about the long-term effect this will have on their life.”

Part of the trend is believed to be as a result of social media. It’s difficult to scroll through any social network these days without seeing adorable photos and videos of cute pups doing silly things, or just being adorable. This includes celebrities showing their dogs all the love they deserve.

Many people forget how much work a pet can be, from the training to the cost of feeding them and their medical bills, as well as constant attention demanded by fur-babies.

Another reason many new pets are believed to be abandoned after Christmas is simply because of the timing of the new acquisition, given how busy the festive season and the weeks thereafter can be.