We have had a lot of dogs come in as strays over the Christmas and New Year period and most of them haven’t been claimed. When they are untrained or in bad condition, it usually the reason they have been abandoned. It’s not generally that people don’t like dogs, just that they can’t cope with them. ‘Why don’t they hand them in to a shelter?’ Ring round most of the animal sanctuaries in the U.K. and you’ll hear the same words – ‘sorry, we’re full’. The answer is to get the right dog and make sure that he or she is trained to behave well, be sociable and fit in with your circumstances.
Some of the dogs we get in are so lovable and well behaved that we just know they can’t have been thrown out for the above reasons. Is it a moving house thing? Or work commitments? Or that their owners can’t afford them any more. Pet care is so expensive these days, although it definitely shouldn’t be.
If you’ve lost a dog please don’t give up on finding him or her again. Strays can finish up many miles from their homes. Every stray dog is put on the lost dog register so contact your Local Council and vets and sanctuaries. A poster, especially with a picture, is the best way of finding your pet again. If you make a phone call, it’s usually jotted down in a register and not everyone sees it. A poster, and preferably an offer of reward, gets put on the notice board.
Don’t rely entirely on the microchip – not everyone updates the microchip details and they sometimes move. We recently found one half way down the Jack Russell’s front leg!
Most of the big animal sanctuaries don’t take in stray dogs. They do take in dogs to be rehomed but on a structured basis – if they are full they have a waiting list. We take in the strays 24/7 and we need such a lot of help to keep going with them. We do have a lot of happy endings though and thanks to everyone who gives one of our dogs, especially the golden oldies, a new home. We need pet food, blankets, towels, shredded paper and especially donations to help with the vet bills. Even a small donation makes a big difference to these abandoned and always hungry dogs. [donate]