CLOSE TO two hundred people have tried to surrender their dogs to a single animal charity in just a number of weeks.
Each year, animal charity Dogs Trust Ireland releases a public appeal urging people not to get a puppy or dog for Christmas, no matter how good your intentions are, as the busy festive period does not allow time for vital basic training or a positive socialisation experience.
Christmas 2019 saw the charity make the bold choice to place a ban on adoptions in the lead-up to the festive period in an attempt to lower the number of surrenders in the weeks after Christmas-- something which happens each year without fail.
This year is no different, as despite the huge demand for dogs due to the lockdown and people spending more time at home, Dogs Trust Ireland have revealed 172 people have approached them asking to give up their dog in just over a month.
From 26 December 2020 to 31 January 2021, Dogs Trust Ireland received 89 phone calls and 83 emails from people looking to "relinquish" their dogs, with the most common reason being the owner being "unable to manage their dog's behaviour"
Commenting on the sad statistic, Becky Bristow, Executive Director of Dogs Trust Ireland, said: “We are saddened to see so many people struggling with their dogs’ behaviour and urge all dog owners to attend training classes, such as our online Dog School classes.
"Many issues can be prevented when they first arise, with simple training techniques, but often by the time people contact us, they are at their wits end and want to relinquish their dog."
The charity shared a heartbreaking video of a dog being abandoned at the entrance to the Dogs Trust rehoming centre over the Christmas period to show the cruelty some of these animals are put through.
The dog, which the charity have named Blitzen, was abandoned late in the evening and tied to the gates with a long piece of rope.
Blitzen became tangled in the rope and started to panic, and by the time staff discovered him it had created a "dangerous situation for Blitzen and the staff who had to free him".
Karla Dunne, Head of Operations at Dogs Trust Ireland explained: "We are thankful that most people are continuing to contact us as the last thing we want to see is more dogs like Blitzen being abandoned.
"We are here to help and encourage people to get in touch as soon as they begin to have difficulty with their dog. While we are unable to take in every surrender request, we will do our very best to help."
The charity say they are aware that there are some "genuine cases of people needing to rehome their dogs" for reasons beyond their control, and have published advice for those who wish to responsibly rehome their pet.
You can find that information here.