Dogs Trust receive 172 requests from owners looking to get rid of pet after Christmas

People most commonly said they were unable to manage their dog’s behaviour

An animal welfare charity has received 172 requests from people looking to surrender their dog after Christmas.

Dogs Trust Ireland received the requests between St Stephen’s Day and the end of January, with owners most commonly complaining that they were unable to manage their dog’s behaviour.

The number of requests is down 27 per cent on the same period last year, with the charity observing a rise in the number of dogs being advertised for sale online. Dogs have increased in value during the pandemic, and people who typically would have abandoned their pets are now trying to make money from them.

“We would have received a lot of unwanted terriers, lurchers and collies at Dogs Trust. At the moment, and over the last 12 months, those dogs are being sold online for hundreds of euros,” a spokeswoman for the charity said.


“It’s so important you know who you are buying your dog from. It is quite a mind field to be able to buy a dog safely at the moment,” she added.


One dog abandoned over the Christmas period was tied to the gates of the rehoming centre in Dublin. A male crossbreed, Blitzen, was abandoned during the night and became entangled in the rope attaching him to the gate, creating a dangerous situation for him and the staff who had to free him, the trust’s executive director, Becky Bristow, said.

Ms Bristow said she is saddened to see so many people struggling with their dog’s behaviour and is urging owners to make use of the trust’s online dog training classes.

“Many issues can be prevented when they first arise with simple training techniques, but often by the time people contact us, they are at their wits end and want to relinquish their dog,” she said.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is an Irish Times reporter