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Cute puppies should be homed for life

PUBLISHED: 15:16 02 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:06 03 March 2010

IT IS the time of year when once upon a time some people may have thought that buying a cute puppy to keep the kids happy over Christmas was a good idea.

IT IS the time of year when once upon a time some people may have thought that buying a cute puppy to keep the kids happy over Christmas was a good idea.

A few weeks later the children would be bored and the cute puppy would be just another statistic in the animal cruelty figures.

Thankfully, one assistant manager of a Suffolk animal rescue centre hopes that at last campaigns to stop this kind of thing happening, appear to be working.

Graham Marwood at the RSPCA centre in Sunnyland Mill Lane, Martlesham said that although the centre was full, there will be a happy ending for some animals as there is a long list of people waiting to re-home them in the New Year.

He said: "Thankfully people buying pets for Christmas seems to be dying off a bit.

"Years ago it was a real problem a few weeks later when puppies got to the chewing stage.

"Hopefully the message is getting through."

Both the Martlesham centre and the Blue Cross centre in Walton, Felixstowe have been full over Christmas.

A steady stream of animals have been finding their way to both centres for a variety of reasons but as Christmas crept closer the doors were closed, with no more pets allowed in or out.

But both Mr Marwood and Laura Astell from the Blue Cross, said that they have not had to deal with many abandoned or neglected animals so far.

However Mr Marwood said that it is more likely that some may come in a few months time when people get fed up with their Christmas presents.

Ms Astell said that animals are brought in for re-homing for a variety of reasons, sometimes economic, other times because of relationship break ups, which also increase during the festive season.

Although they stopped taking in animals on December 10, their latest guest, Holly, an elderly German Shepherd Cross, was found tied to the gate of the centre a week later.

Ms Astell said: "She was well fed but her coat was quite bad and she is an old dog.

"We have had an increase in people bringing their animals in since mid November and although I would not like to misjudge people it does seem a coincidence that it was coming up to Christmas.

"By November we had 12 animals a week coming in which is a couple a day.

"On December 10 we said that nothing was going to be coming in or going out."

Although the centres have not yet had an influx of animals being totally abandoned, they are full of animals that people can no longer look after or don't realise the responsibility that comes with being a pet owner.

Some people get rid of their animals simply because they are planning to go away for a few days.

Mr Marwood said: "We had 12 dogs brought in during 48 hours, eight of those puppies from someone who just let them all breed out of control."

"Over Christmas we don't let any out at all, which is why we are full but by January 4 there will be plenty going out."

However the stories are not always happy ones and there are still animals across the country that are suffering at the hands of owners that can no longer be bothered with them or do not know how to look after them.

A cream German Shepherd is looking to be rehomed at Martlesham after RSPCA inspectors found it starving.

The RSPCA has also released details of a number of cats and dogs across the country found in horrific conditions, for which they can prosecute if the people who did it are caught.

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