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Not just for Christmas: Shocking reasons  owners give up dogs

Dogs Trust Scotland received 703 calls in the weeks after the festive season last year.

Left behind: The charity received a total of 21 calls a day after Christmas.
Left behind: The charity received a total of 21 calls a day after Christmas. Dogs Trust Scotland

Christmas was barely over last year when the calls to the Dogs Trust in Scotland began to come through.

"I got him as a secret Santa present" was one excuse. "She wags her tail far too much" was another.

In the weeks following the festive season, the charity's rehoming centres in Glasgow and West Calder received 21 calls a day from people looking to give up their dogs.

Despite the slogan which you'd think everyone would know by now, "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas", the calls kept coming through.

"She was too friendly and wanted to greet every dog and human we met on a walk," said another.

In all, the Dogs Trust received 703 calls, which is why this year it is releasing yet another warning to the public as staff brace for another post-Christmas influx of unwanted dogs.

The Dogs Trust received 703 calls after Christmas 2016.
The Dogs Trust received 703 calls after Christmas 2016. Dogs Trust Scotland

This time, the trust has decided to go public with the shocking and bizarre reasons offered by people giving up their dog.

To bring the message home the charity has created a video called "Why I left you", highlighting the carefree attitude some people display towards dog ownership.

Some of the reasons they were given during 2017 included:

  • I won a free holiday and I couldn't take my dogs with me
  • He ate meat and we are vegetarian and didn't want meat in our home
  • She was too friendly and wanted to greet every dog and human we met on a walk
  • Now he has lost weight he is too energetic
  • She grew bigger than we thought she would
  • He was panting too much
  • If I'd known anything about beagles, I wouldn't have got one
  • I had to spend an hour a day hoovering as he shed so much hair
  • He is always staring at me - even when I am eating
  • I got him as a secret Santa present but I don't have room for a dog
  • He didn't like it when we tried to dress him up
  • She wags her tail far too much
  • He doesn't match our furniture
  • She sleeps in her own dog bed all night - I thought she would want to sleep in my bed

Dogs Trust is the UK's largest dog welfare charity and has a network of 20 rehoming centres across the UK and one in Ireland, which care for approximately 15,000 dogs every year.

The charity's iconic slogan has proved just as meaningful today as it was when first coined nearly 40 years ago as a new survey reveals 16% of dog owners in Scotland spend less than two weeks researching before buying a dog.

Of more than 2000 dog owners questioned in the survey by Atomik Research, one in 15 people confessed to buying a dog simply because it was a cute accessory.

The survey also revealed 5% of people bought or received a dog as a Christmas gift.

Owners also significantly underestimated the financial cost of dog ownership with 71% believing their pet would cost them less than the actual cost of £10,000 during its lifetime.

'I'm a vegetarian but my dog only eats meat.'
'I'm a vegetarian but my dog only eats meat.' Dogs Trust Scotland

Claire Carney, assistant manager at Dogs Trust Glasgow, said: "Dogs Trust take in thousands of much-loved dogs from heartbroken owners who sadly find themselves unable to continue to care for their dogs due to unavoidable changes in their circumstances so it's particularly hard for staff when they see the other end of the spectrum - dogs handed in simply because their owner's bought them on a whim and consider them little more than toys to be discarded when the novelty wears off.

"We really hope this Christmas is the year our nation of animal lovers finally takes heed of our slogan A dog is for life, not just for Christmas and we don't see dogs discarded because their owners have not considered the lifetime commitment of dog ownership."

One in 15 people confessed to buying a dog simply because it was a cute accessory.
One in 15 people confessed to buying a dog simply because it was a cute accessory. Dogs Trust Scotland

The Dogs Trust urges anyone considering getting a dog to ensure they do their research to find a dog compatible with their lifestyle so they are fully aware of the realities of caring for a dog for the duration of its lifetime.

To find out more about what to consider when getting a dog and Dogs Trust work over the Christmas period please visit: www.dogstrust.org.uk/Christmas2017

Dogs Trust urge anyone considering getting a dog to ensure they do their research.
Dogs Trust urge anyone considering getting a dog to ensure they do their research. Dogs Trust Scotland

Dogs Trust buyer advice

Do

Ask to see mum and pup together

Visit your new pup more than once

Get all your pup's paperwork before going home

Walk away if you are at all unsure

Report suspicious sellers or breeders

Take your puppy to your own vet for a health check ASAP

Don't

Meet anywhere that isn't the pup's home

Buy a pup from anyone who can supply various breeds on demand

Buy a pup that looks too young/small or underweight

Feel pressure to buy a puppy

Buy a pup that you suspect has been illegally imported

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