A dog’s life ...

At this time every year, as the immediacy of Christmas turns normally pragmatic and sensible people into something altogether less so, animal welfare organisations make the very same appeal. Yet statistics suggest that their campaigns are not having the desired impact.

 Since last Christmas something around 4,500 dogs were destroyed and around 17,500 were abandoned. Though most of these unfortunate dogs were not unwanted Christmas gifts, far too many were.

Some may have been Christmas gifts given and accepted with the best of intentions but they proved too much for their owners.

Modern life, especially if both partners are working outside of the home, conspires to make dog ownership a challenge beyond many well-intentioned and caring people.

This is especially so in an urban environment where high-spirited animals may have to be confined and left without exercise for long, often too long, periods.

The best way to avoid these difficulties, and inflicting something approaching cruelty on a dog, is to decide not to buy one unless you are absolutely certain you can look after it. If in doubt say “no”.

More on this topic

Greyhound owned by syndicate of FG politicians at centre of animal welfare controversyGreyhound owned by syndicate of FG politicians at centre of animal welfare controversy

Charity facing 'epidemic' of dumped kittens, including two found sealed inside water-filled bagCharity facing 'epidemic' of dumped kittens, including two found sealed inside water-filled bag

Animal rights group claims ‘mass arrests’ at UK fish market demonstrationAnimal rights group claims ‘mass arrests’ at UK fish market demonstration

How to give wildlife a helping hand with hibernation this winterHow to give wildlife a helping hand with hibernation this winter


Lifestyle

We know porridge is one of the best ways to start the day but being virtuous day in, day out can be boring.The Shape I'm In: Food blogger Indy Power

Sheila O’Flanagan can’t pin down an exact number of books she has written.First lady of fiction: Sheila O'Flanagan is happy to be accessible

This might not be the most entertaining topic but it is that time of year when colds, flus and nasty bugs enter classrooms and homes.Mum's the Word: Top tips for keeping nasty bugs and illnesses at bay

Laura Whalen is a Munster-based dollmaker and mother-of-five, and the founder of the Bábóg project, a community crafting drive to make a commemorative doll for all the babies born in Irish mother and baby homes.Made in Munster: Meet the West Cork dollmaker who uses bio-degradable materials for her craft

More From The Irish Examiner