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British Purebreds Being Dumped in Record Levels

What does it take to get through to some people that dogs are NOT accessories? Thanks to the Telegraph for this sad article. Pedigree dogs...

Joy  |  Jan 6th 2008


What does it take to get through to some people that dogs are NOT accessories?

Thanks to the Telegraph for this sad article.

Pedigree dogs are dumped in record numbers
By Jasper Copping

Record numbers of pedigree dogs, many worth thousands of pounds, are being abandoned by their owners.

Britain’s largest canine welfare charity, the Dogs Trust, has calculated that 42 per cent of the dogs that passed through its rescue centres in the past year were pure breeds.

Traditionally, most abandoned dogs have been crossbred “mongrels”, with pedigree animals representing only a small fraction.

The change has alarmed staff, who believe it shows that dogs are being used increasingly as “fashion items” and dumped when tastes change.

Tomorrow, Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, will visit an animal hospital in central London to call for responsible pet ownership.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, introduced last year, people can be prosecuted for dumping dogs.

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The Dogs Trust, which does not destroy any healthy dog, last year found homes for more than 12,000 animals from its 17 rescue centres.

Meanwhile, the RSPCA, which has about 50 centres, found new owners for 17,000 dogs, but had to put down 1,000.

Of about 50,000 dogs dumped last year, almost 8,000 healthy animals had to be destroyed, an increase on the previous year. About 300 were destroyed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive of the Dogs Trust, said: “We’ve become such a throw-away society that it is too easy for people to go and buy the wrong dog for their lifestyle and then just get rid of it.”

The list of pure breeds handled by the centres is dominated by “working dogs”, such as lurchers, border collies, German shepherds, labradors, Jack Russells and springer spaniels, which have traditionally been bred for shepherding and hunting.

Such breeds are energetic and often more intelligent than others, requiring more exercise and stimulation. Many are dumped because owners are unwilling to exercise them enough.

Mrs Baldwin, who coined the phrase “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas” 29 years ago, said: “People think dogs like collies are born wonderfully well trained, but then reality sets in pretty quickly.

“They are very, very intelligent and if they are not worked, they will start to climb the walls because their brains need to be used.”

Mrs Baldwin said that increasing numbers of fashionable hybrid dogs, such as the labradoodle, a labrador-poodle cross, were being abandoned.

“We’re getting more and more of them in because fashions change very quickly.”

RSPCA and Dogs Trust centres are operating at capacity after a busy Christmas period and have lengthening waiting lists of animals to be taken in.

Follow this link to read the rest of the article.