My role at Dogs Trust involves promoting and delivering the "taking the lead" programme. I offer free educational sessions based around, responsible dog ownership and dog welfare to young learners and adults in alternative education and the secure establishment. The aim is to encourage human behaviour change to enable a positive impact on dog health and wellbeing. I have recently been working with Trafford medical educational services, looking at the needs of dogs and discussing the things to consider before buying/adopting a dog. With Christmas just around the corner, this topic is more important than ever to prevent dogs becoming another victim of our ever expanding throwaway society.
Here at Dogs Trust, all departments are working together to bring home the true meaning of, A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.® The 2019 Christmas campaign has seen the production of an advert featuring Corky, the dog that is thrown out with the Christmas rubbish. As heart-breaking as this advert is, to know that it actually happens in real life is totally gut wrenching.
Have you heard of Missy? She is a three-legged boxer cross, who like Corky was thrown away – just another piece of rubbish! Thankfully, Missy was found and rushed into our care. She was clearly traumatised by her ordeal and she was heavily pregnant. You can find out more about Missy and how to donate to help her and other abandoned dogs like her by clicking here
Unfortunately, Missy’s story is not rare, especially at this busy and expensive time of year. New statistics show that:
Online searches for puppies skyrocket by 44% in the countdown to Christmas(1)
In January 2019, we received 2,247 calls from people wanting to give up their dogs(2)
Education Officers all over the country are working with children and adults to help them understand the complex needs of dogs and that they are a lifetime commitment. Unfortunately, many people underestimate just how much time, love and care a dog really needs. The students who I have been working with in Trafford have been discussing what we can do this Christmas to help dogs. The students came to visit some of the dogs at Manchester rehoming centre today for some extra inspawration. You can see in the photo below some of the ideas they came up with. I think you will agree that they are pretty awesome! The ideas the students discussed are; sponsoring a dog, fostering a dog, sharing advice from Dogs Trust website and social media, donating treats, food, toys and beds to local rehoming centres, attending Christmas events to show your support and buying your very own Corky dog toy or Christmas decoration!
So please, we are urging you not to buy or give dogs as presents this Christmas. Dogs Trust will be caring for around 1,500 stray and abandoned dogs during the Christmas period. You could make a real difference to their lives by visiting the link to watch the advert, read Missy's story and get further advice on how you can truly help a dog in need this Christmas. With your continued support, we can help more people realise that A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.®
1. We built keyword lists around buying dogs, training dogs and giving up dogs. Using Google Trends and Google keyword planner we collected the last 5 years of data. All data was collected during the periods before and after Christmas while also taking a baseline between April and August.
2. Based on calls to Dogs Trust’s national contact centre.