The truth about pre-Christmas abandonment of older dogs

06 Dec 2018       By admin


With Christmas fast approaching, thoughtless people are abandoning older dogs to rescue, or worse, to make way for a new puppy.

Rescues and pounds in Ireland have been inundated with older dogs being left or abandoned to make way for a new puppy at Christmas as reported in the Irish Examiner.

It isn’t just rescues in Ireland that are full to bursting with older dogs for this reason, many rescues in England are reporting much the same.

We all know the type of breeder that will be flooding the market with puppies at this time of year, they are puppy farmers to be precise and are to be avoided at all costs.

Devastation and suffering

Fiona Gammell has been involved in animal rescue for over 40 years and now runs Wicklow Animal Welfare in Ireland. She has witnessed a ‘trend’ in older dogs being left at pounds across Ireland, due to the disposable culture we live in.

Fiona Gammell Wicklow Animal Welfare centre

Fiona explains,

“It’s a fairly new phenomenon, I have only noticed it in the past few years. Everything has become expendable. It’s started already, I just picked a dog up who was 3 as the family were getting a pup!”

“It’s despicable and disgusting – at a time when an old creature, be it animal or a human, needs familiarity around them, they are abandoned.”

Fiona tells of how devastated these dogs are, living with a family for years and then left in unfamiliar territory. They are petrified, won’t eat and hide behind their beds, totally bewildered and frightened.

If people could see the devastation and suffering they cause after abandoning a dog, maybe they would think twice?

Think, before you buy!

Fiona believes that the abandonment of older dogs at Christmas is nationwide, certainly not exclusive to Ireland.

With the huge rise in illegal puppy farms, puppies are available as and when, these puppies are often ill, badly bred and present health problems, that in return could cost the new owner long term expense. This in turn can lead to these puppies being taken back to a pound or rescue centre.

Fiona believes illegal trade in puppy farms has almost made the rescue dog invisible, believing the problem would be solved easily if these puppy farms were eradicated all together.

Please be mindful of older dogs at Christmas, taking a dog at the age of 10-12 to a rescue centre is devastating, they may never recover from being abandoned and the familiarity of their family.

Puppy in the pound

Avoid purchasing a puppy at Christmas

Not only is Christmas one of the busiest times of year in your home and very unsettling for any new additions, simply put a good breeder would not sell a puppy at Christmas.

The only kind of breeder that would sell a puppy this time of year is unethical and does not care about the welfare or well-being of the dogs. They are only interested in lining their pockets- nothing more.

It seems obvious to most of us that it is a really bad idea to buy a puppy at Christmas, however thousands of people continue to do so. Then rescue centres are inundated in early January with unwanted or sick puppies.

Owning a dog is not a right, it is a privilege.


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