IRELAND'S PREMIER dog welfare charity Dog's Trust has placed a temporary ban on the adoption of animals in the run-up to Christmas.
The charity have announced the suspension of adoptions from today, 16th December, up until the 4th of January in an attempt to combat the high levels of January surrenders, an unfortunate trend which comes with people rushing out to get a dog for Christmas without properly considering the responsibilities which comes with the decision.
The charity have always maintained that Christmas is an unsuitable time to introduce a dog or puppy to the home, even for people with the best intentions, as the busy festive period does not allow time for vital basic training or a positive socialisation experience.
In 2019, Dog's Trust received 2,135 calls and emails from people intending to surrender their dog, with 667 of those requests taking place in the first three months of the year.
January consistently has the highest number of surrender requests each year. January 2019 saw the charity inundated with 189 phonecalls and 47 emails from people looking to surrender their pet.
Speaking about the thought process behind the decision, Executive Director of Dog's Trust, Becky Bristow, said:
“Dogs Trust coined the phrase ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ over 40 years ago, and sadly it is still as relevant today as it was then. Each year we are saddened and worried by the number of people looking to relinquish their dog, especially in the first few months after Christmas.
"It’s no surprise that January continues to have the highest number of surrender requests and reinforces our need to go out with our message every year that ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’. We hope that by spreading this message that it will remind people that a dog is a long-term commitment and will encourage people to wait and consider adding a dog to their family in the New Year instead, when the festivities have died down.
"We would encourage those who have made the decision to get a dog in the New Year, to consider adopting from your local rescue centre, local pound or Dogs Trust and give a rescue dog the best second chance in life.”
To read the full statement or to donate to help the charity continue to assist abandoned dogs across the country you can visit the website here.