Lancaster animal charity Wolfwood is hoping pet lovers around the district will take on board the important annual message that “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.”
The sanctuary, based off Hazelrigg Lane, has been inundated with dogs in recent weeks, although charity founder and chairman Stephen Wakelin said taking on abandoned dogs has become a year-round issue.
Wolfwood currently has around 40 dogs to be rehomed, as well as horses, ponies and wildlife.
“We used to get an influx of young dogs in the New Year but now it’s more of a problem all year round,” he said.
“But the run up to Christmas still seems to be the main time for people to get rid of dogs when they have more to pay for.
“We would appeal for people to think about what they are doing before getting a pet, particularly the longevity of it.
“We wouldn’t need to get a lot of the dogs we do get if people just thought about what having a dog involves.
“A lot of it is a matter of education. People need to think about the implications of taking on a dog.
“People must appreciate that a dog is not a human.
“That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be loved but they need structure and rules. A happy dog is a trained dog.
“You are going to have to put time and energy into having a dog, you can’t expect it to just fit into your lifestyle.”
Wolfwood’s weekly running costs are about £1,200 to £1,500, and the charity relies heavily on donations.
The charity’s shop burnt down in a fire at its Bowerham Road premises in September, and they are now renting out a new shop opposite Moorside Primary School.
“We get so much support; the fire showed us how much the charity means to people,” Stephen said.
“It was a struggle but we have come through the other side.”
The charity is always on the lookout for donations – either in the form of money or items such as toys, bric-a-brac, clothes, books and CDs which can be sold in the shop.
You can also set up a standing order to support the charity, or volunteer to walk some of the dogs.
The shop is open Monday to Friday 10am until 4pm and on Saturdays from 10am until 2.30pm.
Wolfwood can be contacted at www.wolfwood.co.uk or on 07931 220094.
* A variety show at the Grand Theatre on January 26 is being held in aid of Wolfwood. Tickets cost £9 (concessions £7).