In animal sanctuaries there are dogs of all shapes and sizes… and some of them are very old. Milo was, until recently, one such dog. It’s hard for sanctuaries to find homes for dogs like Milo; they are often ill or needy and require a lot of attention and patience. Additionally, many people worry that it will be too sad to befriend an animal who has only a few months left to live. At Ethical Pets, we have cared for a dog like this before, called Beth: we found living with her a wonderful and fulfilling experience, so we have decided to do it again! This time, we are keeping a blog in the hope that maybe others will consider adopting their own little Beth or Milo one day. So, here it is: our record of Milo’s Last Miles.
Shep recently interviewed Sarah Graham, Communications Assistant at The Dogs Trust. Here is a full transcript.
Once they are all cleaned and fed, all the dogs go for lovely long walk. Staff spend all day with the dogs to make sure they all enjoy their day and get lots of fuss and attention. All the dogs will also get a special treat out of their stocking – a special chew or a toy. All the dogs have stockings and the sponsored dogs proudly display their Christmas Cards from their sponsors. There is a Christmas tree in reception and the staff wear festive Santa hats.
So do people still get Dogs for Christmas (and not for life?)
I’m afraid so. 34 years ago Dogs Trust created the famous slogan “A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas” – but sadly it appears that many people still buy dogs as presents without proper thought being given to the responsibilities involved. Each year we see around 100 dogs dumped at our re-homing centres over the Christmas period. We regret to say that 2012 was no different. It seems that people are still giving puppies as Christmas presents without considering the long term ramifications. Dogs can provide a world of happiness and enjoyment, and we urge anyone considering a new addition to the family to ‘think life’ and carefully consider the individual needs of the dog’s breed too.
Sadly one of the most popular places to buy dogs is online. Dogs Trust acknowledges that the Internet is an accessible way of purchasing gifts quickly, but the impulse buying of pets and animals poses the enormous risk of attracting many unscrupulous breeders. Consumers could, unintentionally, end up purchasing a pet from a puppy farm that has been trafficked into the UK. Such puppies often have physical and behavioral problems as a result of poor breeding conditions and traumatic transportation. To help prevent people thoughtlessly buying or giving a dog as Christmas present, Dogs Trust centers did not re-home dogs between the 22nd and 29th of December (22nd December to 2nd January in Scotland). People were still able to visit and reserve a dog, but were not be able to take it home until the New Year
Dogs Trust Glasgow was broken into four times during the Christmas period. Not only did the charity lose equipment, but some of the dogs became very distressed by the trauma and the centre was forced to close for a short period of time. In the midst of this turmoil, however, a Christmas miracle took place as dedicated staff helped a three year old Jack Russell Terrier, called Josie, give birth to a litter of seven pups on Christmas eve. The pups are all doing really well and have all been reserved to go to their loving new homes when they are old enough.
Here’s Josie and her pups, all doing well!