THE Blue Cross pet charity in Bromsgrove has warned that in an unfortunate wave that seems to follow fashion trends, the type of pets being abandoned, increasingly seem to mirror those most popular in films or with celebrities.
At the Blue Cross centre in Catshill, only one Chihuahua was given up over the past five years, but last year, that figure rose to six of the dogs, they now also take in wolf-type breeds on a regular basis following the success of the Twilight films and Game of Thrones..
Robbi Chaudhuri, deputy manager at Blue Cross in Bromsgrove, said: “Sadly, the ‘have-it-now’ attitude of today’s consumer society seems to be the same whether you are buying a handbag or a dog. Copying your favourite celebrity’s hairstyle is one thing, but we really urge people to put a lot more thought into getting a new pet – we see so many animals given up because their owners didn’t realise how much time and effort it takes to care for them.
“Even though they are small and cute, Chihuahuas, like all dogs, still need exercise and training - a lot more work than a pair of shoes. Huskies are stunning looking but were bred to run for hundreds of miles pulling a sled every day. Their owners need to help them with this learned behaviour as best as possible in a domestic environment. Sadly, some people realise too late that a husky isn't the best dog for them so unhappy, frustrated dogs end up in rescue. We are hoping our 'passion, not fashion' campaign will encourage anyone thinking of getting a dog to look at the dog's needs before choosing one on impulse or because of the latest fad."
The charity is appealing for people not to follow the latest fashion when it comes to choosing a pet, and look for the breed that best suits theirs and the dog’s needs.
Pet lovers are being asked to spread the message on Twitter using the hashtag #PassionNotFashion.
Current fashionable pets in danger of being abandoned when trends pass include tiny dogs like pugs and Pomeranians that fit into handbags, Staffordshire bull terriers, any animals linked with films, cocker spaniels similar to the one purchased by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and novelty pets like micro-pigs and pygmy hedgehogs.