December 2012 will mark the 34th anniversary for the ‘A Dog Is For Life Not Just For Christmas’ campaign started by the animal welfare trust near High Wycombe. The campaigns trustee Joyce Mariott says that till this day the name remains as equally meaningful as it was 34 years ago when it was first coined.
Puppies are still one of the favored Christmas gifts around the UK, but it takes only a few months for the puppies to grow up. Then by February and March their new families will be unable to face the reality of having a pet and will return the dogs to shelters. This practice has been denounced by the trust, as they operate with a strictly ‘no kill’ policy and never put down a healthy dog.
Every year more than a thousand dogs are abandoned in UK. The centre cares about 1200 dogs each year and tries to re-home almost 1000 of them. However, they do not re-home dogs in the Christmas period to avoid their chances of being abandoned thereafter.
According to Joyce, the campaign has helped the number of abandoned dogs during the festive season to come down significantly over the past few years. She added that hundreds of healthy dogs are killed just because they are not wanted by people for ‘just being dogs’. The trust also put forward a word of caution before anyone thinks about gifting a puppy for Christmas, as they urged people to also think about the future ramifications of having an additional member in the house.