Think before buying a dog this Christmas say campaigners

Thrown out with the rubbish – hundreds of dogs will be abandoned in Leeds at Christmas

The discovery of an abandoned dog who was left in appalling conditions on Saturday 5th November in Western Flatts Park in Leeds is causing more attention to be brought to this issue this Christmas. The dog named ‘Canis’ was left blind and had to be put to sleep.

The busy streets of Leeds familiar to this homeless man and dog

Often it can be found that those pets who are abandoned form bonds with the homeless on the streets

Dogs Trust the UK’s largest dog welfare charity are urging people not to buy a dog purely for the novelty this festive period. “On average every Christmas our re-homing centres have around 100 dogs handed in to us. We do not encourage re-homing a dog over the Christmas period.” said Communications Manager, Sally Lucas.

A small dog pictured looking timid against a brick wall

2015 Christmas was the worst ever for abandoned pets, 2016 is set to top this

In 2006 the Animal Welfare Act became law in England, all keepers of animals must care for them properly.

Vicky Cottrell, 40, veterinary nurse said that this obligation for care is not always followed, “Vets know the festive period as the ‘Christmas clear out,’ people bring in their old pets and have them put to sleep. Old dogs with no teeth and smelly breath are brought in and then replaced with a newer puppy.”


Photograph of a small dog standing against a broken garden fence

The West Yorkshire Council are attempting to support the re-homing charities based in the area

Although many are battling against the problem, over 47,000 owners are still willing to abandon their pets annually according to a Stray Dog Survey by Dog’s Trust.

With pet shops taking a commercial stance and breeders making sure they have an influx of puppies ready to sell the problem may never stop.


Paw Prints pet shop in Leeds decorated for the festive season

Pet Shops see Christmas time to be the busiest period of the year

Manager at Leeds pet shop Paw Prints, Amy said “We definitely get more sales over Christmas, on an average Saturday we’d usually get around 80 sales but this Saturday just gone we got 200. As for people buying pets for Christmas I think if it’s done correctly there’s nothing wrong with it. We sell pets here but we do it right. I know there are far too many breeders that are just in it for the money.”


By Bethany and Haley

About the Author

This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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