Dogs Trust reiterates message that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas
- Credit: Archant
Staff and volunteers at an animal charity are celebrating after rehoming more than 500 dogs this year.
Cocker spaniels Benson and Lilly became the Dogs Trust Snetterton's 500th and 501st residents to find their forever home.
However the charity still has a number of pooches who are awaiting their special someone to walk through the door.
To make sure they are spoilt on Christmas Day, each dog has a stocking above their kennel which will be filled with goodies from Father Christmas.
Hundreds of presents sent in by donors, adopters and generous friends are wrapped and sitting under the charity's Christmas tree.
The cuddly toys, bones and food, are sure to go down a treat.
Julia Kuivenhoven, media assistant at the charity, said: 'It is great. We have got so many donations in from the public. I have got people coming in saying, 'It is not Christmas until we have donated some presents to the dogs for Christmas'.
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'We make it a little bit more special for them. We have boxes where they have treats in them and they have to search for them which is a great simulation for them.
'And we give them extra cuddles and we make sure they are okay.'
The Snetterton centre is bracing itself for the post-Christmas influx of unwanted dogs and is urging people to remember the charity's iconic slogan 'A dog is for life, not just for Christmas'.
In 2017 the centre, which can hold between 60 to 75 dogs, received up to nine calls a day from people looking to give up their dogs in the month following Christmas.
Excuses given in 2017 for taking a dog to the charity included 'I won a free holiday and I couldn't take my dogs with me,' and 'she was too friendly and wanted to greet every dog and human we met on a walk.'
Diane McLelland-Taylor, rehoming centre manager at Snetterton, said: 'In the weeks following Christmas last year we received 310 calls from owners wanting to give up their dog.
'That is so sad as dogs deserve to be treated as a member of the family.
'They aren't disposable commodities; they are a huge commitment and should be for life.'
For information visit the Dogs Trust website
Research before you buy a dog
A new survey carried out on behalf of the Dogs Trust reveals how people do not look fully into what owning a dog means.
One in five of dog owners in East Anglia spend less than two weeks researching before buying a dog. One in 15 confessed to buying a dog simply because it was a cute accessory.
The survey also revealed that one in 10 people admitted to buying or receiving a dog as a Christmas gift.
People also significantly underestimated the financial cost of dog ownership with 62pc believing their dog will cost them less than the actual cost of £10,000 during its lifetime.
Dogs Trust urge anyone considering getting a dog to ensure they do their research before hand.
The charity has created a video called 'Why I left you' which highlights some people's carefree attitude towards dog ownership.
Advice can be found here.