Animal charity Blue Cross are calling for people to do a spot of research before buying a dog, after a steep rise in the increase of ‘handbag dogs’ – which include breeds like pugs, Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahuas – being abandoned.
The pet charity has seen an 120 percent rise in the number of ‘handbag dogs’ being handed into their shelters in the past five years, and are concerned that this number will continue to rise unless people start treating these dogs like animals rather than fashion accessories.
And it seems their fears are founded. A survey of pet owners showed that nearly a third spent less than a week researching what pet to get, with 38 per cent admitting to spending more time researching the purchase of a new mobile phone or tablet.
A further 18 per cent even admitted to buying a pet on impulse.
Kellie Brookes, Blue Cross Rehoming Centre Manager, said: ‘Sadly, people often think these little dogs won’t be much trouble to care for and it’s often too late when they realise they don’t have time.’
She went on: ‘Celebrities may have people to look after their pets for them, but for most of us even little dogs like these Yorkies pups are going to take up time with their training and exercise needs if we want them to be happy and well-behaved.’
Five most commonly abandoned ‘handbag dogs’:
1. Yorkshire terrier
3. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
4. Bichon frise
5. Shih tzu
And it’s not just people buying dogs without thinking that’s the problem.
Kellie also warned of people who think breeding these dogs might be an easy way to make a few bucks, saying: ‘People may also think that breeding ‘handbag’ pups is a good way to make a bit of money, but it can be more difficult to find good homes for them than you imagine.’
She concluded with these words of wisdom: ‘A little bit of research about a pet’s needs before taking the plunge can save a lot of heartache later on.’
Seriously people, if you want to treat yourself to an impulse purchase buy a T-shirt, not an animal.