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Smuggled handbag dogs rescued by Dogs Trust

In today's Daily Mail you will read about Peter, a Chihuahua who was adopted from Dogs Trust Evesham by Jacqui, Head of Digital Marketing at Dogs Trust.

Peter is just one of many 'handbag dogs' that has been given up to Dogs Trust after they have been abandoned. Sadly, Dogs Trust has seen an 84% increase in the number of 'handbog dogs' who are perceived as a fashion accessory, but later abandoned after their owners realise the responsibility of caring for a dog.

A Dogs Trust spokesperson says:

"Dogs Trust continues to be concerned about certain breeds of small dogs being regarded as fashion accessories due to the rise in celebrity culture, and bought on impulse without the necessary thought and consideration required. This trend gives way to high levels of demand for smaller designer dogs, which can lead to a rise in unscrupulous breeding with dogs being bred irresponsibly with potential health and behavioural problems. This can sadly lead to people having to pay large vet bills when their dog becomes unwell.

"Many people believe that smaller dogs do not require the same level of care and attention as larger breeds and therefore can come into difficulties when they get their dog home and find them to need the same levels of training and socialisation as other breeds.  As these popular breeds are small, people forget that they are still a dog, and should be treated as such. Dogs Trust sees first-hand the behavioural and health problems that can arise when people have treated their pet as a fashion accessory or toy and have not allowed their dog to exhibit and learn normal dog behaviour.”

The 'handbag dog' trend

Between 2013-2015 Dogs Trust has seen an 84% rise in the number of toy breeds:

  • Bichon Frise -  73% increase
  • Pomeranian - 10% increase
  • Yorkshire Terrier - 70% increase
  • Chihuahua Short Hair - 194% increase
  • Chihuahua Long Hair -  236% increase
  • Toy Poodle - 36% increase

As the rise in popularity of ‘handbag dogs’ continues, Dogs Trust steps in to rescue a litter of tiny Pomeranian puppies that were smuggled into the UK from Eastern Europe in the back of a van. The puppies were destined to be sold online to unsuspecting buyers for thousands of pounds. These Pomeranians represent the growing number of puppies falling victim to the illegal Designer Dog Trade. Since December 2015 Dogs Trust has cared for over 150 illegally imported pups.

As part of Dogs Trust’s ongoing investigation into puppy smuggling, the charity has made a landmark step forward by pledging to provide care and quarantine for hundreds of seized smuggled puppies. Transporters attempted to smuggle these underage Pomeranians into Great Britain with false passports.

Click here to read more about Dogs Trust's investigation into puppy smuggling.

Read Claude's story, one of the many puppies affected by puppy smuggling...