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​The Number Of Dogs Abandoned After Christmas Will Break Your Heart

​The Number Of Dogs Abandoned After Christmas Will Break Your Heart

The RSPCA does not advise giving pets as presents unless it's been carefully considered.

Lauren Bell

Lauren Bell

Many of us think we want a dog, yet it's apparent the longstanding motto 'a dog is for life not just for Christmas' is still one that needs to be remembered.

With 2,247 calls made to The Dogs Trust last January from people wanting to give up a dog, it is obvious that still people are buying pooches without giving it serious thought first.

In January 2018, the RSPCA also received 1,678 reports of abandoned dogs in the UK. But despite the shocking figures, the stats for the rest of the year stack up to be equally as horrifying.

The problem lies where people choose to take on a dog and are not equipped to do so. It's no mean feat looking after a pup: they are demanding, time-consuming and you have to plan your life around them, so the decision to give one a home shouldn't be taken lightly.

While we're sure many who receive pooches for Christmas and are prepared for that it entails, all too often others don't stop to think before they buy.

The Dogs Trust informed Tyla that in the last four years, the two weeks leading up to 25th December saw searches of 'get a dog' increased by around 27 per cent, while the week before Christmas saw a spike of 44 per cent of the online search 'buy a puppy'.

2,247 calls were made to The Dogs Trust last January (

But when the new year rolls around, people simply cannot cope - The Dogs Trust has found that searches of people wanting to give up their dog increase by eight per cent.

It is heartbreaking. And it is dogs like Noodle that really suffer the consequences.

Battersea Dogs Home does not know the reason Noodle was abandoned, but he was found just after Christmas last year roaming the streets of London at just ten-weeks-old.

Noodle's front paw was deformed and he had a prolapsed anus, something that took surgery to fix.

Noodle was found last December roaming the streets of London at just ten-weeks-old (
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home)

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home told Tyla: "We will never know how he came to be a stray so young - maybe he was an unwanted Christmas present, or maybe he was just never sold by his breeder and was dumped after Christmas.

"But it is fair to say this young pup didn't have the best first Christmas."

Luckily, Noodle has now been adopted by a family in Oxford and is set to spend his second Christmas in much more happy circumstances.

It's cases like this that concern charities about people gifting dogs on a whim; the RSPCA told Tyla it doesn't condone gifting pets unless it has been seriously considered.

The charity said: "The RSPCA does not advise the giving of pets as presents unless it is known that the person receiving the pet is willing to take on the responsibility of having a pet, can afford to do so, and can give them everything they need to be happy and healthy throughout their life."

When the RSPCA found Lizzie her fur was so matted they couldn't identify her breed (
After spending four hours shaving Lizzie the RSPCA found she was a poodle (

The 'a dog is not just for Christmas' sentiment can be applied to any time of the year - nobody should take on a dog without knowing what it entails.

The RSPCA added: "We'd urge anyone thinking of purchasing a pet - whatever the time of year - to consider the long-term commitment required to properly care for an animal.

"People need to take into account whether they have the time and money to care for that pet for the rest of its life."

But speaking of Christmas in particular, the charity said that the season also isn't an ideal time to bring a new animal into the household if you are a family that enjoy full-on festivities.

The RSPCA took in and cared for Lily, a lurcher, who was left starving and abandoned. She's now has doubled in weight and found her forever home (

It said: "Christmas can be a busy and hectic time for many households.

"Unusual noises, activities and extra demands upon the household can make it difficult for any pet to settle into their new homes so it is not always the best time to introduce them into the household."

Saying that, the charities don't want to discourage people from adopting if they are serious they can commit to a new furry friend, as there are so many dogs waiting for homes to go to.

Lily has now been re-homed (

Head to the Dogs Trust to see important information on what to consider when buying a dog.

Dogs might be cute, but let's not take them on lightly. They deserve so much better that to be given up post-festivities.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Christmas, Pets, Dogs