Dogs Trust will ‘Paws’ adoptions over the Christmas period

Four-week-old spaniel puppies "Suzie" and "Magic" at DogsTrust in Finglas. The charity is suspending all adoptions of dogs and puppies from December 16th until January 5th, warning that Christmas is the worst time year to introduce a dog to a new home. (Photograph: Fran Veale)

Dogs Trust, Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, has today announced that they will suspend the rehoming of dogs from their centre over the festive period to prevent people rushing out to get a dog for Christmas.

Christmas is not a good time to take on a new dog, especially a puppy. It is critical that dogs are provided with basic training and positive socialisation experiences in those first few months to set them up for the best start in life. Many people, often with the very best intentions, are simply unable to provide this at a busy time like Christmas.

The last rehoming day will be 16th December 2018 and the charity will restart adoptions again on 5th January 2019. However the centre in Finglas will remain open to the public during that time, so people can visit all the dogs looking for homes and then decide whether or not to adopt in the New Year.

Dogs Trust has received 2,840 calls and emails from members of the public this year looking to surrender their dog, with 897 of those in the first three months of the year. January had the highest number of surrender requests totalling 334, which was a 30% increase on the previous year.

Chihuahua Layla and her puppies Lily and Luke, recovering in Dogs Trust after they were thrown from a moving car. (Photograph: Fran Veale)

The top reason given for people looking to give up their dog was that they didn’t have enough time to look after them anymore.

Speaking about the announcement, Executive Director at Dogs Trust, Suzie Carley said: “Each year we are saddened and worried by the number of people looking to relinquish their dog, especially in the first few months after Christmas. Owning a dog is a long-term commitment so we are urging those thinking of getting a dog to please wait and take due consideration at any time of the year but especially when thinking of getting a dog for Christmas. Dogs Trust coined the phrase ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®’ 40 years ago this year, and sadly it is still as relevant today as it was then. We hope that by spreading this message that it will encourage people to wait and consider adding a dog to their family in the New Year instead, when the festivities have died down.

“We would encourage those who have made the decision to get a dog, to consider adopting from your local rescue centre, local pound or Dogs Trust and give a rescue dog the best second chance in life.”

Suzie added: “Unfortunately we receive a large number of surrender requests each day and due to the high demand to take in dogs from many sources, we are unable to help everyone by taking surrendered dogs from members of the public. With the limited space that we have in our rehoming centre, we need to prioritise taking in dogs from the Local Authority Pounds around Ireland as these dogs are at risk of being put to sleep. We also endeavour to take in vulnerable surrender dogs whenever possible.”

If you would like to help a dog in need this Christmas, why not Sponsor a Puppy Playgroup instead? As a Paw-Pal, you can give puppies all the specialist care they need to make sure they all grow up to be healthy, happy dogs ready for their Special Someone one day.

You, or the person you sponsor a puppy for, will receive regular pup-dates on their progression to fully fledged canine companions and all the difference you are making for dogs and puppies at Dogs Trust.

To find out more about how you can Sponsor A Dog or Puppy Playgroup visit: