Cardiff Dogs Home is full to the brim after taking in nearly 100 new dogs since Christmas.
There are two dogs in some kennels and staff are even having to turn dogs away due to lack of space.
In January alone, the centre has taken in 81 unwanted dogs, and staff have to deal with nearly 1,200 abandoned animals every year.
To make matters worse for the home, illness has left them short-staffed, but they still manage to have the centre manned 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.
Christmas is renowned as a busy period, as people ‘trade’ in their older dogs for puppies.
Elaine Cripps, Marketing and Communications Officer for Cardiff council, said the way people see dogs as disposable is heartbreaking: “It’s sad to hear that people are simply giving up a dog they may have had for years just for a smaller, younger, cuter puppy. Bigger, older dogs tend to be abandoned.”
In many cases, there’s very little the centre can do, other than take the dog in.
“It’s difficult with strays, as it’s hard to hold anyone responsible. Even if the dogs are micro-chipped, it’s hard to prove people are the owners,” Elaine added.
The story is no different elsewhere in South Wales, with Dogs Trust in Bridgend taking in nearly 1,000 dogs a year.
Beverley Price, Dogs Trust Bridgend Centre Manager, said that dogs were being treated like accessories: “ It is disturbing to think that Christmas decorations may last longer in the home than some dogs bought as gifts – it really is unacceptable to toy with a dog’s future in this way.”
Yesterday alone, eight dogs were abandoned with the Cardiff Dogs Home having to step in. Five new-born puppies were handed in cuddled in a basket, along with their mum.
But many dogs are simply dumped, often in a poor state, and it’s up to dog homes to nurture them back to health and find them a new owner.
For more information on how to adopt a dog, see the Cardiff Dogs Home section on the Cardiff council website.
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