Dogs Trust

Welsh Minister visits Dogs Trust Bridgend to discuss im‘paw’tant campaign

Since the phrase ‘A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas®’ was coined over 40 year ago, Dogs Trust has campaigned to encourage the nation think twice about impulsively purchasing Christmas puppies and to consider the lifelong commitment of dog ownership before impulsively bringing a dog into their home. 

Which is why Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, was greeted with waggy tails upon her visit to Dogs Trust Bridgend on Wednesday 18th December to discuss the Welsh Government’s latest campaign ‘Paws, Prevent, Protect’ to spread the message of the importance of doing your research before welcoming a pet into your home at Christmastime.

Ms Griffiths was given a tour of the rehoming centre, talked about the commitment of owning a dog and discussed the Government’s review of the dog breeding legislation. She also met a number of dogs currently awaiting their forever homes, including Juno, an 11-year-old Labrador cross who is a real sweetheart. 

Following the visit, Dogs Trust Campaigns Manager for Wales, Rachel Burr, said:

“With Christmas just around the corner, the urge to buy a puppy is all too great and dogs can be bought online at the click of a button. We want people to really do their research and understand that dogs are a lifetime commitment and don’t come with a gift receipt. 

“We take calls all-year-round from people who feel they have no choice but to give up their dog. It can be heart-breaking, even if an owner knows they are doing the right thing. 

“Dog ownership is wonderful and we aren’t saying people shouldn’t get a dog, we’re just asking that people are sure they are ready for the long-term commitment that comes with it.” 

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said:

“The message ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ is one I wholeheartedly agree with. Responsible dog ownership begins before you bring a dog home. Dog ownership has many benefits but there are lots of things to consider before making such a commitment. 

“The team at Dogs Trust work all year round looking after dogs which come into their care - it’s important people are ready to take on the commitment of looking after a dog so they don’t have to face the difficult decision of parting with their pet.” 

The Welsh Government has issued the following buyer advice on the things you should think about before welcoming a pet into your home this Christmas: 

Can you give the animal a good home?

All animals deserve to live a happy and pain-free life. Make sure you can provide your chosen pet with a suitable environment, the space to behave in a natural way (for example running or flying), an appropriate diet, companionship and healthcare. 

Can you afford a pet?

It takes space, time and money to look after an animal properly. Some animals require more care, attention and upkeep than others. Make sure you’re happy to commit to this for the lifetime of your chosen pet. 

Where have they come from?

Without knowing an animal’s history, you have no assurance that it has been taken care of or that it has been properly socialised. This could lead to future behavioural problems and expensive veterinary costs. Make sure you check their history before deciding to bring it home. 

Have you done your research?

Never buy on impulse. Make sure that you’re buying your animal from a reputable seller, particularly if the animal has been advertised on the internet or through social media. Be mindful that pets are sometimes advertised in a misleading way, for example lying about an animal’s history, breed or pedigree. Some breeds are prone to problems which require regular veterinary treatment. 

Have you met your pet?

Take the time to visit the animal and seller before you buy. This is a good opportunity to check all documentation is in order. If the animal was born outside of the UK it must have either a pet passport or a veterinary certificate. If you’re buying a puppy, make sure it has been microchipped.

If you are interested in adopting a dog from Dogs Trust Bridgend please visit the rehoming centre in Pen-y-Fai or call 01656 338745.