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03rd Feb 2022

Requests to surrender dogs after Christmas increases by 73%

Sarah McKenna Barry

Since Christmas, almost 300 dogs have been surrendered to the charity.

The Dogs Trust have appealed to the public for foster homes to help re-home dogs after they recorded a massive rise in surrender requests after Christmas.

This year saw a 73% increase in post-Christmas dogs surrender requests compared to the same period last year. Last year, 172 dogs were requested to be surrendered to the charity from Christmas Day to the end of January. This year, the Dogs Trust saw 297 dog surrender requests for that same period.

In a statement, the charity’s head of communications Ciara Byrne spoke about the huge commitment that comes with dog ownership, as well the impact of “misleading and often illegal advertisements online”.

Ms Byrne said: “While many of the people who contact us do so because of extenuating circumstances, sadly many are telling us they underestimated the commitment dog ownership involves. We are also continuing to see victims of unscrupulous breeders and families being ‘dog fished’ as misleading and often illegal online advertisements continue.

“Dogs are often advertised as being ‘hypoallergenic’ but as the causes of individual’s allergies can vary, no dog can be said to be 100% hypoallergenic, even if the breed or crossbreed doesn’t shed very much or the dog doesn’t have much or any hair.”

The Dogs Trust then pointed to a case they saw of Maggie, a five-month-old Spaniel puppy who was returned after she had been falsely advertised online as being “hypoallergenic”.

They said: “Her family thought she would be the perfect pet, but their allergies flared up and as a result, Maggie was surrendered to Dogs Trust. She is a very nervous dog, another indicator of poor breeding and the environment she was born into. Due to how fearful she was upon arrival the charity sought a foster home for Maggie where she is being cared for and the family hope to adopt her.”

Kate Horgan, who is the fostering coordinator for Dogs Trust then issued an appeal for foster homes for the surrendered dogs.

She said: “We are urgently appealing for foster homes across the country. Fostering not only provides invaluable experience in caring for a dog but it plays a fundamental role in helping the most vulnerable dogs get back on their paws and gives them a better chance of finding their forever home, an incredibly rewarding experience for any dog lover.”