Thinking of buying a dog this Christmas? Croydon Council‘s dog warden service is asking people to think very carefully before they give an animal as a present.
Each year the increase in unwanted dogs goes up at the start of the year, with 312 collected so far in 2015 – over a half (173) between January 1 and April 31.
Previous years’ show the same trend; in 2014 the council collected 347 dogs -175 between January 1 and April 31. In 2013 361 dogs were collected – 189 between January 1 and April 31. At least 60% are not claimed by their owners.
“Christmas is a particularly busy time as puppies are bred for Christmas presents.
“The dog warden service strongly disapproves of this as it promotes puppy farming and unscrupulous breeding.
“We often collect a number of stray female dogs that are unwanted after they have had puppies. In the last few years we have also seen an increase of young stray dogs after Christmas, presumably unwanted presents. It’s a worrying trend.”
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
Those who are keen to get a dog are encouraged to get their new pet from the bigger rescue centres, such as Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, which both offer a range of services.
In addition to offering a pet a second chance with a loving family, these centres offer neutering, vaccination and micro-chipping, and will send the new owner’s details on to the Pet Log Company.
Battersea also offers six weeks’ free pet insurance and carries out a home check of the properties to which pets are potentially going, to ensure the adoption is suitable.
Anybody who does choose to buy is encouraged to go to a Kennel Club registered reputable breeder to ensure they are not buying into pupping farming. See these tips for further advice.
- Never buy from anyone other than a reputable breeder
- Don’t buy on a whim – plan your purchase – your pet could easily live for 10 to 15 years or more, so be sure you can make this time commitment
- Make sure you see both of the puppies’ parents so you can check their health, temperament and pedigrees
- Ensure there is paperwork with the puppy to show its origins are genuine
- Check the puppy’s breed characteristics are right for your family’s needs, and that you will be able to care for it as it grows up.
If in doubt – take advice from the Kennel Club or a vet.
For more tips on dog ownership, see the council’s YouTube clip – http://bit.ly/1PjrXh8