A DOG rehoming centre is making a heartfelt plea for people not to give dogs as Christmas presents this year.
Just for Dogs, in Brailsford is a rehoming charity for abandoned or neglected dogs and has a policy of never putting a creature down.
Margaret Smith, the shelter’s manager said: “We always get an influx of dogs needing a new home around May and June, usually when the cute puppy given as a Christmas present has started to grow into a bigger dog, needing more time and attention.
“If you want to welcome a dog into your life then wait until after the holiday period, when life is generally less hectic and stressful, and you can give your pet the care and love it deserves.
“We would also warn against buying puppies online, there have been several cases recently where people have bought the dog of their dreams this way only for it to develop illness and problems later on in life.
“There have also been reports of people buying from a ‘rescue centre’ who later find out it was a front for a puppy farm, where the mother is kept in horrid, dirty conditions, and they can have all sorts of genetic issues caused by inbreeding and insanitary conditions.
“Rescue dogs are often the sweetest natured animals, especially older dogs, and make loyal pets; it’s almost as if they are trying to show their gratitude for being given a new chance in life.
“Plus of course they are often already house-trained and past the chewing and destructive stage some puppies can go through.”
Harley, the cocker spaniel, has spent five Christmases at the shelter and is still looking for his forever home.
Ms Smith said: “Harley is seven years old now, but a typical spaniel, he shows no sign of slowing down.
“He is a happy and loving dog but he does like to be in charge of everyone and everything around him.
“However with a firm leader he would make a wonderful pet.
“He is active, with a passion for the great outdoors and as with all our long term dogs he has his own dedicated dog walker who takes him out for long walks three times a week.
“He gets along fine with other dogs, but because of his dominance we would not rehome him anywhere with children.”
More information on adopting Harley or any of the other 22 dogs currently at the centre is available by calling 01335 361363 or emailing email@example.com