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  • Northside West

Graffiti urges ‘paws’ for thought

Thursday, 23rd November, 2017 1:00pm
Graffiti urges ‘paws’ for thought

Abandoned dog Bella ended up losing an eye due to an infection.

Graffiti urges ‘paws’ for thought

Abandoned dog Bella ended up losing an eye due to an infection.

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FINGLAS based Dogs Trust came up with a novel idea last week to try and prevent unwanted pets being dumped after Christmas.

The canine charity reports that there was a 58 per cent increase in the number of owners looking to surrender their dogs after Christmas last year.

A total of 756 people contacted Dogs Trust within the first three months after Christmas 2016 to relinquish their dogs, compared to 479 in the same period the previous year.

The most common reason given was they didn’t have enough time to look after them anymore, so Dogs Trust came up with a thought provoking way to remind people about dog ownership before this Christmas.

Using clean graffiti, paw prints were dotted around Dublin to represent the owners who wash their hands of the responsibility and commitment that comes with having a dog.

The large, rather mysterious looking paw prints were decorated with the hashtag #PawsForThought to remind people that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas - a message Dogs Trust claims as its own.

The charity is urging people to ‘pause’ and think about the lifelong commitment and responsibility that comes with owning a dog, and then wait until after Christmas to consider taking on a new addition to the family.

One of the dogs who ended up at Dogs Trust after last Christmas was a young female pup called Bella.

She arrived with a nasty eye infection and the charity suspect she was given to somebody as a Christmas present.

Tragically, Bella’s right eye had been left untreated for so long that it was swollen completely shut and had to be removed.

If she had been brought to a vet at an earlier stage, it could have been prevented.

Staff at Dogs Trust nursed Bella back to health, gave her lots of love and found her a forever home.

But for some dogs there isn’t such a happy ending.

Unfortunately, with over 1,000 abandoned dogs per year coming through the Dogs Trust doors, and thousands more the charity cannot possibly take in, people are still taking on the responsibility of dog ownership without enough consideration of what it really entails.

Dogs Trust say people can still give the gift of life this Christmas by sponsoring a dog instead of taking on the responsibility of looking after one.

"It is deeply worrying that we have seen such a significant spike in the number of surrender requests we received after Christmas last year compared to the previous year,” said Suzie Carley, Executive Director at Dogs Trust.

“For us, as Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, this campaign is very much about urging those thinking of getting a dog to please pause and take due consideration at any time of the year but especially when getting a dog for Christmas.

“We hope that by spreading the message that ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas,’ which was coined by Dogs Trust almost 40 years ago, we will encourage people to wait and consider adding a dog to their family in the New Year instead, when the festivities have died down.

“We would encourage those who have made the decision to get a dog, to adopt from their local rescue centre, local pound or Dogs Trust and give a rescue dog the best second chance in life.”

To find out more about how you can support Dogs Trust’s campaign visit www.dogstrust.ie/pawsforthought.

 

Ciiara Byrne and her dog, Jenna, pass some of the #PawsForThought paw prints. PHOTO: FRAN VEALE

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