Surge in requests to rehome dogs and cats in the run up to Christmas

The DSPCA says the trend continues to get worse each year

Surge in requests to rehome dogs and cats in the run up to Christmas

This dog, who has been renamed Jack, is a four-month-old surrendered by his owner because he is growing bigger than the owner was told he would be | Image: DSPCA

An animal charity says it has received requests from pet owners to rehome over 25 dogs and more than 20 cats in the past week.

The DSPCA says this is because the owners can no longer keep the animals in the run up to Christmas.

It says reasons given are "sick relative", "moving house", "human pregnancy issues", "biting the children" and "unwilling to work on training".

It says one case involves an owner who can no longer care for his five terriers, ranging from one to six years of age.

"We appreciate that some callers are genuine but the trend is worrying and continues to get worse each year and the calls increase the closer to Christmas we get", the DSPCA adds.

These pups were found abandoned on the street in north county Dublin on Wednesday morning | Image: DSPCA

Gillian Bird, head of education at the DSPCA, says: "It is not unheard of for pet owners to surrender their pet dog as it has become 'too bold' only to replace it with a new puppy at Christmas.

"We have heard all the excuses possible, my personal favourite was from a family who felt that their old and slightly smelly dog did not fit into the newly refurbished kitchen where they would be preparing and eating Christmas dinner with their extended family".

The DSPCA are reminding people that a dog is a family member, and is not a disposable item.

"Dogs need constant work and training to help them fit into the family's life.

"If you are not prepared to put work into owning a pet then you should simply stick to soft toys or even an interactive electronic pet that can be bought in a toy shop which can be turned off if the child or family loose interest."

The DSPCA says it is "extremely busy" in the run up to Christmas, and a sudden intake of all these unwanted dogs and cats puts a strain on already stretched resources.