THE charity Dogs Trust is bracing itself for an influx of unwanted ‘presents’ that will be handed into its centres across the country post-Christmas.

Over the last 12 months, the UK’s largest dog welfare group has cared for more than 16,000 dogs.

Some of the most bizarre reasons for people no longer wanting their pets include: “My dog doesn’t match the sofa”, “he wouldn’t fit in my handbag or wear the outfit I bought him”, “the dog gets too much attention” and “he isn’t as cute as when I first got him”.

Clarissa Baldwin, Dogs Trust CEO, said: “It seems that people are still giving puppies as Christmas presents without considering the long-term ramifications.”

She said the only place a puppy should be is on the outside of the wrapping paper, not inside it.

Four-year-old terrier Kirk, was handed into Dogs Trust, Harefield, because his owners felt he got too excited when he was taken for walks.

Kirk is now looking for an adult-only home, where his new owners will have the time to spend keeping him occupied and playing games.

Sarah Graham, Dogs Trust communications assistant, said the impulse buying of pets and animals posed the enormous risk of attracting many unscrupulous breeders.

She added: “Consumers could, unintentionally, end up purchasing a pet online from a puppy farm in Ireland or other countries that has been trafficked into the UK.

“Such puppies often have physical and behavioural problems as a result of poor breeding and transportation conditions.”

Dogs Trust rehoming centres expect more than 100 puppies to be dumped on them over the festive period and into early 2013.

Centres will not rehome dogs from December 22-29, as a way of preventing people rushing into buying or giving dogs as festive presents.

People can visit and reserve a dog but will not be able to take it home until the New Year.
For more information about Dogs Trust Harefield, call 0845 076 3647.