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The 100 homeless puppies of Christmas

Dogs Trust is urging the public to consider the commitment of dog ownership before buying a puppy in 2017, after the charity spent Christmas caring for a record number of canine casualties.

The charity received a massive 54% increase in dogs handed over to its 20 rehoming centres across the UK in the period 20th December - 2nd January compared with the same time last year, with 127 unwanted dogs handed in during this two week period alone.

Over a third of these handovers were puppies like eight-week old Lurcher Rudolph who arrived at the charity's Darlington rehoming centre as part of an unwanted litter and fourteen-week-old Puggle Ben who was bought online on Christmas Eve and handed in to the charity's Manchester rehoming centre when his new owners realised they weren't able to give him the time and level of care he needed.

Whilst the charity does its best to care for every unwanted dog in the UK, it simply doesn't have capacity to take in every single dog made homeless over Christmas. Despite taking in nearly 300 stray and abandoned dogs in total over the festive period, the charity still received just shy of a thousand calls from people looking to give up their dog in the two weeks after Christmas, amounting to 70 calls every day.

Dawn Bishop, Dogs Trust Manchester Rehoming Centre Manager explains:

"After nearly 40 years highlighting our iconic slogan, "A dog is For Life, Not Just For Christmas" we hoped that this would be the Christmas message would finally sink in but it seems that, in this day and age, where puppies are readily available at the click of a button, people are still choosing to purchase a dog on impulse, without thinking about the long-term effect this will have on their life. Owners are realising that caring for a dog isn't always an easy feat and charities like ours have to pick up the pieces when new owners decide they simply can't give their dog the love and care it needs."

"Each year we take in more and more unwanted dogs like Rudolph and Ben. They are the lucky ones as their owners did the responsible thing by bringing them to to us to find loving homes with people who can devote the time and care that dog ownership requires. People need to realise that owning a dog is a lifelong commitment not a passing phase and I would urge anyone thinking of getting a dog to do their research before making the decision to bring a four-legged friend into their homes."

If you think you can give Rudolph or Ben a loving home, please call Dogs Trust on 0300 303 0292.