ANYONE planning on getting a dog either for Christmas or in the new year is being urged to do plenty of research before taking the plunge.
From April to November this year, the Council’s animal welfare team received almost 400 calls, and its officers made over 550 inspection visits.
Several improvement notices were issued, seizures made, and prosecutions taken as a result.
The vast majority of these cases concerned dogs and now, as Christmas fast approaches, official guidelines have been released for those thinking about getting a puppy. The Council’s animal welfare team is urging wannabe dog owners to carefully read the advice, can be found at www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications
Meanwhile, it appears locals are increasingly turning away from breeders when finding a furry friend.
“We have a fairly steady demand for rescue dogs throughout the year and our turnover time for dogs, from intake to rehoming, is within a month which is a good success rate,” said Brenda McManus, manager of the Bright Eyes Animal Sanctuary.
“I think social media plays a big part in changing attitudes,” she continued. “People see more and more what rescue animals are capable of and it can open their minds to rehoming a rescue.
“As well as that I think social media is responsible for changing attitudes towards back yard breeders and puppy farmers as its now seen to be less socially acceptable.”
Ms McManus stressed, however, Bright Eyes do not recommend anyone gives a dog as a gift for Christmas, no matter how well intentioned.
As such, the sanctuary does not rehome animals in the weeks before Christmas.
It should also be noted that when hoping to get a dog from a rescue home the advice on research and preparation is just as, if not more, important. For example, make sure your family can cope with the extra love a rescue dog may need.
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