Dogs abandoned after owners decide they don't want them around for Christmas

A dog is for life and not just for Christmas and so the saying goes.

But some dogs are not even for Christmas.

"We have 100 dogs on the books at the moment, we normally have about 85 but we have a lot over Christmas and even had an instance where someone brought a dog in because they didn't want them around for Christmas", says the manager of the Leeds branch of The Dogs Trust.

Most dogs across the city will be as much a part of the Christmas Day celebrations as the rest of the family but for others - they will spend Christmas in a kennel and for them the best way to start 2020 would be finding a new and loving home.

Eric the Staffy.

However, while the Dogs Trust doesn't tend to re-home at Christmas the staff and volunteers try to make the big day as nice for the dogs as possible with them all getting presents and a festive feast just like the rest of us.

Amanda Sands told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "It is mostly staff that look after the dogs. When they come here they are shell-shocked and need continuity so we try to get the same member of staff to look after them to help them settle.

"Every day is the same day, it is a normal day for us but with a nice touch. They are walked and get a Christmas dinner of turkey, vegetables and potatoes mixed in with their food. They all get a Christmas stocking. People are very generous at this time of year and bring in all sorts for the dogs."

When it comes to re-homing and giving dogs as Christmas presents Ms Sands has one strong message.

Morrison with Jessie Baxter from the Dogs Trust in Leeds.

"Our message is very much that people must never get a dog for somebody else. They mean well but you can't make that commitment for someone else. It is a 10 to 15 year commitment. In any case re-homing at Christmas does slow down and we have a lot of dogs coming in.

"A family Christmas is a lovely and exciting time and friends and family come round so it is not a good time to bring a dog into a new environment, but, say if it was a couple having Christmas by themselves then maybe we would.

"A lot of people go away for Christmas and are sensible so we will wait for the right home for the right dog."

Even though there are a hundred dogs in the care of the Leeds Dogs Trust there are a couple that the charity would really love to see get a new family and home for the new year.

Members of the public donate to the Dogs Trust so that the dogs can have treats on Christmas Day.

Morrison is a lurcher and thought to be around 10 years old. Despite this he is playful, loves people and is very friendly. He has been in kennels since August and was brought in as he cannot be left alone and his previous owners couldn't cope with it and would be better as the only pet.

Eric is a three year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who was handed over because his owners were having a baby. Staff say he is very intelligent, enthusiastic and would benefit from patient and understanding owners so he can continue his training and socialisation.