Dogs Trust received 370 requests from people looking to give up their dogs in the Dublin area after Christmas.
The animal welfare charity said its Finglas office fielded an average of ten calls a day between St Stephen's Day and the end of January.
It said the said the most common reason was that the owners did not have the time to look after them properly any more.
The charity has described the numbers as “alarming.”
Tati and her three pups were found in a box on the side of the road in freezing conditions last week. @DogsTrust_IE says it received 370 requests from people looking to give up their dog after Xmas 😢 pic.twitter.com/kPjcPQYH3V
— Kim Buckley (@KiiimBuckley) February 19, 2019
“Not just for Christmas”
Dogs Trust Executive Director Suzie Carley said it is “extremely worrying” that such a large number of puppies are being abandoned after Christmas.
“We have just marked the 40th anniversary of the phrase “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas” and sadly this message is still as relevant today as when it was first coined by Dogs Trust all those years ago,” she said.
“We would urge people who are thinking of taking on a new dog not to do so coming up to Christmas.
“A dog is a big commitment so if you are still thinking of getting a dog in the New Year we would ask the public to do careful research on where you are sourcing your dog from, research the breed of dog to suit your lifestyle and try to anticipate any major lifestyle changes such as an upcoming move, a new baby and consider how a dog may impact this before bringing one into your home.”
Dogs Trust received 370 requests from people looking to surrender their dog after Christmas this year.
— Dogs Trust Ireland (@DogsTrust_IE) February 19, 2019
The charity said one of saddest cases it saw this winter was a box of three eight-week-old puppies that were “callously dumped and left for dead in freezing temperatures, before being rescued by Dogs Trust.”
Dogs Trust Head of Operations Karla Dunne said it was “incredibly heart-breaking to see these beautiful creatures being discarded in this way with little thought for their safety or well-being.”
“We’re just grateful that they were found and brought to us so that we can care for them here until they find loving homes,” she said.
“Thankfully all four of them are now thriving here and mum Tati can get the veterinary treatment she needs, but sadly many other puppies are not as fortunate and this could have been a completely different story had they not been found so quickly.”
The charity said anyone looking to welcome a dog into their home should consider adoption first – with anyone who decides to buy encouraged to do careful research to ensure they are buying from a reputable breeder and not fuelling the cruel puppy farming trade.