Keen to share the Dogs Trust message that A Dog is For Life, Not Just for Christmas. I’m still appalled by how many people take on dogs they cannot handle, and who are quick to get rid of them when it suits.
The Dogs Trust advert is inspired by the grim news that every year the charity takes in dogs who were unwanted Christmas presents. They say:
Last year alone we had 4,827 calls from people wanting to hand over their dogs in the month after Christmas, with many of these being Christmas presents that haven’t lived up to expectations, or given up once their owners realised the responsibilities of dog ownership.
In the comical advert we see actors treating Christmas presents like dogs – taking a games console for a walk, throwing a ball for a hairdryer, trying to get a drone to sit and saying goodnight to a bottle of perfume.
The scene then switches to a woman trying to wrap a dog as a present before TV presenter Mel Giedroyc explains in a voiceover that ‘Christmas presents aren’t dogs! And dogs aren’t Christmas presents. A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®’.
Mel, who has her own rescue dog Juno, says:
“It’s bonkers that people are still buying dogs as Christmas presents. I hope this ad helps people realise the craziness of giving a bouncing, playful, pooing puppy as a present. Getting a dog needs to be a much-pondered decision. They’re gorgeous and loveable but bloody hard work. Remember ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®’!”
Adam Clowes, Operations Director explains further:
“Every year – even on Christmas Day itself – we have dogs brought to us from people who have received them as presents and don’t want them. Once the initial Christmas sparkle has worn off and people realise the huge commitment it takes to own a dog, they come into our care.
“It’s heart-breaking for us to see when it could so easily have been prevented.”
“Dogs are a wonderful addition in the right circumstances, but before bringing one into our homes we all need to think whether they are right for our lifestyles and, whether we can give them a home for life. Christmas presents aren’t dogs, and dogs aren’t Christmas presents. It’s that simple!”
Don’t Forget Puppy Smuggling Issues
If that isn’t enough, think about the trade in smuggled puppies. Dogs Trust says:
Over 60 MPs have joined our fight against the cruel puppy smuggling trade during a special event at the House of Commons.
In what has turned out to be a very busy week at Westminster, we were delighted to welcome over 60 MPs to our annual reception, where we asked for their renewed support to put an end to the cruel Puppy Smuggling trade which sees thousands of puppies transported across Central and Eastern Europe, in horrendous conditions, to be sold to unsuspecting buyers here in the UK. See the ad.
We have been investigating the cruel puppy smuggling trade since 2014, with our undercover investigative reports revealing shocking evidence of the Pet Travel Scheme being exploited by illegal puppy importers. Our latest report was released in November, and supplies further evidence of corrupt vets in Central and Eastern Europe falsifying documents for underage puppies to be brought into Great Britain; pregnant dogs being smuggled in so their puppies can be born in the UK and lax border controls.
We have long been calling for changes to be made to put a stop to the continued and growing abuse of the Pet Travel Scheme.
Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden says:
“The findings of our fourth report into the puppy smuggling trade have revealed undeniable evidence that illegal importers remain undeterred. We believe this has only scratched the surface of the full extent of the problem. The lack of visual checks at ports and paltry penalties for those caught smuggling puppies are simply no deterrent and highlight an urgent need for our pet travel legislation to be redrawn.”
Andrea Jenkyns MP hosted the event and added:
“Dogs Trust has unveiled a horrendous trade that has been growing over the past few years and we now have the opportunity to make a positive change to stop this practice. I’ve been shocked by the findings of all four of the reports and am proud to support the case to bring an end to puppy smuggling with the introduction of tighter controls and the need for much stronger penalties to deter this horrific crime.”