Pet charity Dogs Trust has revealed the real reasons people give up their pets as they prepare for the post-Christmas influx of unwanted dogs.
The organisation, who in 2016 cared for over 15,000 dogs in its centres across the UK, is urging the British public to remember its iconic slogan: "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas" after a year of bizarre reasons offered by people giving up their dog.
To bring the message home they have created Why I Left You, a video with a twist which highlights the carefree attitude which people sadly display towards dog ownership.
After Christmas 2016, the charity received a call every five minutes from people looking to give up their dogs. They took more than 3,500 calls.
Here are some of the reasons given to Dogs Trust:
1. I won a free holiday and I couldn’t take my dogs with me
2. I’m a vegetarian but he always wanted to eat meat
3. I got him as a secret Santa present
4. She was too friendly and wanted to greet every dog and human we met on a walk
5. He was panting too much
6. He didn’t like it when we played dress up
7. She sleeps in her own bed all night – I thought she would want to sleep in my bed
Adrian Burder, Chief Executive for Dogs Trust, said: “Dogs Trust take in thousands of much loved dogs from heartbroken owners who sadly find themselves unable to continue to care for their dogs due to unavoidable changes in their circumstances so it’s particularly hard for staff when they see the other end of the spectrum; dogs handed in simply because their owner’s bought them on a whim and consider them little more than toys to be discarded when the novelty wears off.
"We really hope this Christmas is the year our nation of animal lovers finally takes heed of our slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ and we don’t see dogs discarded because their owners have not considered the lifetime commitment of dog ownership."
A new survey has revealed that 20% of dog owners spend less than two weeks researching before buying a dog - while a fifth of people confessed to buying one simply because it was a cute accessory.
The research also showed that one in 10 people admit to buying or receiving a dog as a Christmas gift, while 70% of the dog-owning public believe that their pet will cost them less than the actual cost of £10,000 during its lifetime.