December 6, 2012 3:55 PM

dogOn Tuesday 4th December, Local MP Mark Hunter attended joined with Dogs Trust, the UK's largest dog welfare charity, to highlight the famous Dogs Trust slogan; "A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas" in a bid to combat the problem of dogs being given as gifts at Christmas only to be later abandoned in January.

At a special campaign event MPs had the opportunity to open a window on the charity's '12 Strays of Christmas' advent calendar and learn more about its campaign to encourage people to think carefully before taking on a dog, especially during the festive season.

Commenting, Mark said:

"The "12 strays of Christmas" campaign is a humorous way of highlighting what continues to be a serious problem.

"Years after the "dog is for life" campaign was launched, we still see people being given dogs as presents every year. Sadly, all too often, these dogs are either abandoned or not cared for adequately.

"The campaign highlights the fact that getting a pet - whether a dog or otherwise - is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. Each and every pet needs and deserves adequate love and attention."

Commenting, Laura Vallance, Public Affairs Manager at Dogs Trust said:

"We are really pleased to be raising awareness about this important issue in Westminster. It is vital that dog ownership is seen as a long-term commitment and not just an impulse buy, especially at Christmas time. We see an influx of dogs being handed in to our rehoming centres over the Christmas period and we aim to curb this problem by educating people on responsible dog ownership and the potential risk of buying pets online on an impulse."

Every year, Dogs Trust works to highlight the problems surrounding dogs being given as gifts at Christmas. The online sale of pets means that impulse buying of animals has become an appealing option and the lure of a quick sale attracts many unscrupulous breeders particularly during the Christmas period.

Dogs Trust is the UK's largest dog welfare charity and cares for over 16,000 abandoned and unwanted dogs a year through its nationwide network of 18 rehoming centres. For more information about Dogs Trust, the UK's largest dog welfare charity, visit

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