Dogs Trust Ireland has had 297 requests from the public to surrender their dogs since Christmas Day to the end of January.
This is a 73% increase on the 172 requests received over the same period last year, which has lead to an urgent appeal for foster homes so Dogs Trust can continue to help as many dogs as possible.
This is eight requests on average a day, which is huge for the charity.
In a lot of cases, this is due to people underestimating how much time and care a dog would take, or having unrealistic expectations of what having a pet entailed.
Some people are even being conned into thinking their dog will be hypoallergenic.
Ciara Byrne, Head of Communications at Dogs Trust Ireland said: “While many of the people who contact us do so because of extenuating circumstances, sadly many are telling us they underestimated the commitment dog ownership involves.
“We are also continuing to see victims of unscrupulous breeders and families being ‘dog fished’ as misleading and often illegal online advertisements continue. Dogs are often advertised as being ‘hypoallergenic’ but as the causes of individual’s allergies can vary, no dog can be said to be 100% hypoallergenic, even if the breed or crossbreed doesn’t shed very much or the dog doesn’t have much or any hair.”
Maggie a five-month-old Spaniel puppy who was fictitiously advertised as a hypoallergenic Poodle cross. Her family thought she would be the perfect pet, but their allergies flared up and as a result, Maggie was surrendered to Dogs Trust.
According to the charity, she is a very nervous dog, another indicator of poor breeding and the environment she was born into. Due to how fearful she was upon arrival, Dogs Trust found a foster home for Maggie where she is being cared for and the family hope to adopt her.
Maggie is just one of many dogs in the same situation, but not all of them will be lucky enough to be rehomed by a loving family.
There are a big range of pups at Dogs Trust that struggle to find homes due to their temperament, size or personality. These dogs will all flourish in the right home and should be given a chance.
The charity is also appealing for foster homes to help with the huge influx of surrenders.
Kate Horgan, Fostering Coordinator at Dogs Trust Ireland said: “We are urgently appealing for foster homes across the country. Fostering not only provides invaluable experience in caring for a dog but it plays a fundamental role in helping the most vulnerable dogs get back on their paws and gives them a better chance of finding their forever home, an incredibly rewarding experience for any dog lover.
“If you are over 18, have access to dog friendly transport for vet visits and meeting potential adopters, a secure garden and time to temporarily care for a dog in need, we would love to hear from you.”
For more information about fostering a dog from Dogs Trust, please visit DogsTrust.ie/Fostering.