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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 22 February, 2019
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Animal charity fear this lost puppy was abandoned Christmas gift

They are searching for his owners in the hope he just got lost.

Moses with canine carer Paul Cleary
Moses with canine carer Paul Cleary

DOGS TRUST HAVE said they fear a dog found wandering the Clondalkin streets may be one of a number of ‘Christmas puppies’ abandoned this festive season.

They are searching for the owners of Moses, who is eight weeks old, in the hope that the little puppy went missing and was not abandoned.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Catriona Birt of Dogs Trust said the dog was handed in by a member of the public who saw him running around in Clondalkin. “We have reported him to the dog pound in case someone is missing him,” she said.

“Fingers crossed he can be reunited with his owners.”

She said that finding abandoned puppies around Christmas time like this is not unusual.

“It would ring quite true with stories of dogs who were handed in who may have been gifted, particularly a few days after Christmas.”

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She said that when puppies come in to Dogs Trust aged between six and 12 weeks around this time of year, “they were more than likely bred for the Christmas rush”. But she said the dog had been well kept and is in good condition.

Take extra care

Birt pointed out that dogs can go missing or run away at Christmas because it is “a really hectic time”. She said owners need to “take extra care at this time of year if puppies get and get lost – it’s very cold, the weather is not very nice”.

“At eight weeks old they won’t be covered by any preventative vaccination to stop them becoming poorly,” she pointed out.”[Owners should] make sure dogs aren’t going out unsupervised until fully vaccinated and they have had their vet checks, so they are not at risk.”

“January is a busy time”

At any one time, Dogs Trust has around 180-200 dogs in its care, around half of which are puppies.

At this time of year because there are so many additional puppies bred to be sold at Christmas, you will see an increase in the number of surrenders or strays that are presented to us. January is typically a very busy time for dealing with unwanted animals.

Tips for puppy owners

Caring for a puppy is not easy, but what should you do if you’re finding yours to be a bit of a handful?

Birt recommends puppy training classes. “It’s more about training us what to do than training the dog,” she said. “And make sure all of the family are involved in that, to make sure the puppy is getting consistent training.”

Dogs Trust also has fact sheets on its website which cover topics like house training and socialisation.

“Puppies are overwhelming,” said Birt. “They need a lot of time and a lot of finances go into them. The first six to nine months of their life is a crucial time so they grow up happy and well-rounded, and not anxious.”

She reiterated Dogs Trust’s stance on festive puppy-buying: “A dog is for life, not for Christmas.”

They have launched a puppy promise pledge, where people pledge to never buy a dog as a present.

If Moses is not claimed after five days, he will be available for rehoming.

Read: Irish animal charity releases video of woman violently kicking a dog on her property>

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