A canine rescue charity has named 2016 as the ‘year of the unwanted dog’ after reaching capacity locally and at many of its centres across the country.
Dogs Trust says that the weeks following the Christmas period are the busiest time for dog owners to give up their pet after returning to work or school without giving it the proper training it needs.
While the idea of a puppy for Christmas is a dream for many people, the reality is that first-time dog owners who receive a pet as a gift often find that caring for a dog is very different to what they expected. This results in the dogs being given up for adoption for being too messy or destructive because of improper training.
Speaking to JMU Journalism, Amy Best, Supporter Relations Officer at Dogs Trust Merseyside said: “Having a dog is a huge time commitment to anybody – they’re going to need exercise, they will need training.
“It’s basically a lifestyle change beyond what people imagine it’s going to be with a dog in your life. They’re a member of the family that need caring for the same as everyone else.”
The Huyton-based centre offers a ‘dog school’ training course for owners who don’t know where to start with their untrained pet. There are also pet sitters available to walk dogs during the day while the owners are at work, which is useful for calming down young canines who are full of energy and become destructive if left home alone.
Ms Best added: “We are trying to get the word out about dogs in our care; we have 84 here currently, that’s our capacity. There’s a long waiting list of dogs who want to come in as well, so there is a massive need for people to consider adopting instead of buying from a breeder.”
Dogs Trust is also focusing on urging owners to get their pets microchipped, as from the April 6th this year it will become mandatory by law for dogs to have a microchip so they can be tracked to their owners if they become lost or stolen.