18 Dec 2012

A dog is not just for Christmas

Mums and dads are being asked to ‘paws’ and think twice before giving in to pressure from their kids to buy a puppy as a Christmas present.

Renfrewshire South MSP Hugh Henry is backing a charity campaign to raise awareness of the message that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

He added his support at a special event in Holyrood, which gave MSPs the opportunity to open a window on the Dogs Trust’s ‘12 Strays of Christmas’ advent calendar and learn more about the campaign.

Mr Henry said: “I am delighted to support the Dogs Trust in their campaign to remind people that a dog really is for life and not just for Christmas.
“We have all heard the slogan but, unfortunately, hundreds of dogs are still found abandoned in January.

“It seems that people are still giving puppies as Christmas presents without considering the long-term ramifications.

“It is vital that dog ownership is seen as a long-term commitment and not just an impulse buy.”
Laura Vallance, of the Dogs Trust, added: “We are really pleased that so many MSPs are supporting us in raising awareness about this important issue.

“We see an influx of dogs being handed in to our rehoming centres during December and January and we aim to curb this problem by educating people about responsible dog ownership and about the potential risks of buying pets online as an impulse purchase.

“Many unscrupulous breeders take advantage of the Christmas season to make money and what you see on a website is not always what you get, with many of these puppies sold on despite being underage, sick and not properly socialised.”