Heartbreaking CCTV footage of a confused terrier being abandoned, casually tied to a tree outside Dogs Trust, is set to form a central part of their Christmas TV campaign to keep canines for life.
The charity said that, from January to September 2019, more than 1,900 people across Ireland contacted them looking to relinquish their dog, but the casual dumping of a Jack Russell, who has since been christened Pudsey remains one of the saddest cases.
Shots of the sweet-natured Jack Russell trying to follow his owner as he walked away from his pet without a backward glance reduced Dogs Trust staff to tears in recent weeks.
The image of the bewildered pet will be used to remind prospective pet owners that dogs are not disposable.
Eimear Cassidy, operations assistant manager at Dog’s Trust, said she was appalled when she watched the footage of Pudsey being dumped, shortly after she had gone out and untied him from the tree.
“It takes a lot for me to cry but that definitely made me shed a tear,” she said. “It was just confusion in his face of: ‘You forgot me, where are you gone?’.”
Through the A Dog Is For Life Christmas campaign, the charity is urging people to think about the lifelong commitment that comes with owning a dog. They advise waiting until after the festive season to consider taking on a new addition to the family.
Eimear said that, on September 23, a passer-by told them Pudsey was tied to a tree with a piece of washing line by someone who parked away from the cameras in the charity’s Dublin premises to avoid identification.
“We ran down and as soon as I went over and knelt down he was really friendly straight away,” said Eimear. “He was panting and looking around and shaking a little bit. As soon as I went over and knelt down, he came over and was interacting and was quite relieved obviously to see people and was really friendly straight away.
“We brought him inside and I checked the security footage straight away. I’ve seen loads of different things over the years, but watching him sniffing away and then look up and see his owner gone and try to follow him is just really heartbreaking.”
Becky Bristow, the executive director of Dogs Trust, said the charity coined the phrase ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ more than 40 years ago.
“We are still urging people to think carefully about the type of dog they want in terms of behaviour, not just looks, and to be extremely selective about whom and where they source it from.” she said.
To help spread their message and show that your dog is for life, Dogs Trust is asking people to share the first and most recent photos of their dog using the hashtag #ADogIsForLife on social media.
Our brand new Christmas cards are now available to buy online and in our center! Featured on the cards are 2 of our furry residents - Tiny the Chihuahua and Shep the Collie! Every purchase will be helping dogs just like them.— Dogs Trust Ireland (@DogsTrust_IE) November 5, 2019
Pick them up online here: https://t.co/DYtI2I3aFl pic.twitter.com/nlPRXQDkS6