Published: Thursday, 22nd November 2018
Medway Council is offering advice to residents who are considering buying a dog this Christmas.
The council’s award winning stray dog service, which regularly picks up strays, is encouraging residents who are thinking about buying a dog this Christmas to consider the long-term commitment which is needed to properly look after a pet.
Between April 2017 and April 2018, the stray dog service reunited 124 dogs with their rightful owners and 39 were rehomed to a new family. The team also offers advice throughout the year to owners to help keep their pets safe and healthy. They have their own Facebook page where they post pictures of strays, which are shared by members of the public. The team would like to thank everyone who shares their posts and to the dog foster carers which help look after pets until they find their forever homes.
Residents are also being encouraged to think about where they are buying a dog from. If you are looking for a new pet, why not rehome a dog from a rescue centre and give it a loving home? If you are looking to buy a puppy from a breeder be wary of illegal puppy farms and make sure you see the mum and her pups together.
The RSPCA does not advise the giving of pets as presents unless it is known that the person receiving the animal is willing to take on the responsibility of having a pet, can afford to do so and can give them everything they need to be happy and healthy throughout their life.
Top tips if you are considering buying a dog:
• Consider rehoming a dog from a rescue centre
• If buying a puppy, purchase one from a reputable breeder
• Ask to see the puppy with its mother and the rest of the litter. Be suspicious if your request is refused.
• If the seller lives, or the puppy was born, outside of the UK the dog must have passport or vet certificate. The documentation has to confirm that the puppy was vaccinated against rabies at the correct age and document the veterinary practice where this was carried out. If in doubt, contact a vet.
• Never allow a dog to be delivered to your home address or meet the seller to collect the animal in a car park.
• Never pay for the puppy in advance.
Medway Council has also launched a Canine Code which encourages residents to follow a guide to being a responsible dog owner. The code includes ensuring your dog is microchipped, gets enough exercise, is kept under control and clearing up after your dog.
'Dog ownership comes with a number of responsibilities'
Cllr Rupert Turpin, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder in charge of Community Wardens, said: “Our wardens work tirelessly to collect stray dogs and I’m pleased that their hard work has once again been recognised by the RSPCA. Dog ownership comes with a number of responsibilities and we would encourage residents to think carefully about whether they will be able to provide the long-term commitment which is needed to properly take care of a pet. If residents are thinking of adopting a dog, or buying one, I would encourage them to follow the Medway Canine Code.”
'Consider the long-term commitment required to properly care for an animal'
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: "The RSPCA does not advise the giving of pets as presents unless it is known that the person receiving the pet is willing to take on the responsibility of having a pet, can afford to do so and can give them everything they need to be happy and healthy throughout their life.
"The RSPCA would urge anyone thinking of purchasing a pet - whatever the time of year - to consider the long-term commitment required to properly care for an animal. People need to take into account whether they have the time and money to care for that pet for the rest of its life.
"Christmas, in particular, can be a busy and hectic time for many households. Unusual noise, activities and extra demands upon the household can make it difficult for any pet to settle into their new homes so it is not always the best time to introduce them into the household. However, for some people, the festive period is a calm, quiet time and may well be a good opportunity to introduce an animal into the home as families tend to be around the house with more time to spend with them."