According to the East London Advertiser, The Dogs Trust is refusing to give wannabe dog owners dogs from December 20 until after the festive season has finished. This prudent stance adopted by the animal charity is intended to ram home the message that a dog is not a suitable Christmas gift.
Animal Welfare Minister Jim Fitzpatrick fully supports the policy of The Dogs Trust because he fears that a dog given as a gift may suffer neglect or even abandonment. Mr Fitzpatrick is currently the Member of Parliament for Poplar in East London. His constituency includes the Isle of Dogs and he has apparently long taken an interest in canine matters. Thus it is little surprise that Mr Fitzpatrick has involved himself in this important policy area, becoming involved in the production of an innovative code of practice for responsible dog ownership. He stated:
“I hope the new advice I’m publishing will help prevent animals being abandoned.”
Dogs Trust boss Clarissa Baldwin is keen to consolidate awareness of how inappropriate the gift of a dog at Christmas is. Ms Baldwin pointed out:
“Some of the reasons we hear for dogs being abandoned are outrageous.”
Ms Baldwin was responsible for the influential slogan:
‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.’
She unleashed this mind-changing phrase on Britain back in 1978, when 20 per cent of British dogs were presents. Campaigning has reduced this figure to about 2 per cent, but activists believe there is still more to do.
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