We know Christmas is a time of year when many dogs are abandoned.
But Teresa Cargill of Phoenix French Bulldog Rescue has revealed her rescue has had over 30 dogs handed in since November.
Shockingly, some of these would have been Christmas ‘gifts’ last year and owners have given them up because they don’t want the ‘stress’ of them being at home over the holidays.
She said: “It use to be that people would get a puppy for Christmas but this year we’re finding people are getting rid of their dogs instead.
“Since the middle of November we have had 30 dogs handed in, and in the whole of 2017 we’ve helped rehome 170.
“Most of the calls we receive are from people who have had the dog all year, often as a puppy last Christmas, and they’ve become boisterous and troublesome.
“Because French Bulldogs are the ‘trendy’ dog of the moment, people buy them as fashion accessories and don’t care for them properly.
“They stick them in a crate all day and get a dog walker to nip in for an hour but they are a headstrong breed and need boundaries, exercise and stimulation.
“People are handing them in to us because they can’t cope with the stress of having them over Christmas.”
One case is Vixen who is just 18 months old. She had a litter of pups four months ago and was handed in because her owner ‘couldn’t cope.’
Teresa says she is flourishing in foster care because she’s being walked, given attention and being fed healthy food, meaning she has a second chance at life.
Another is Angel, who is two and came in with infections in both ears and an inverted tail.
Her owner used her as an entertainment act in his local pub as she was in so much agony she’d constantly spin round chasing her tail.
Poor Joseph, three, was handed in by his owner who was living on the streets after a break up. He’s now in foster care in Scotland.
Three week old puppy Sprout was rejected by his mum and is being hand reared by Teresa.
Teresa says the dogs are being handed in because their breed is so popular.
Frenchies are set to take over Labradors as the most sought after breed in the UK.
In 2000, only 229 litters were registered with the Kennel Club. This year the figure was 21,475.
She said: “Each of these dogs is a victim of Frenchies being fashionable.
“I even had a call from a desperate vet who wanted me to help a dog who was being put to sleep because their owner didn’t want them at home at Christmas.
“I’ve had hundreds of e mails from the start of November from people wanting to adopt a dog even though they’ve never expressed any interested before.
“We’ve had to refuse to let people adopt dogs for the whole of December because we fear people just want a free Frenchie.
“It’s heartbreaking. They’re not fashion accessories. People need to understand the commitment they need to make when they get a dog.
“You wouldn’t dump a child if they had behavioural problems and it should be the same for dogs.”
Teresa said her dream would be the day when there was no need for her to run her rescue.
While she loves caring for the dogs, knowing that greedy breeders are exploiting Frenchies to make money breaks her heart.
Teresa said: “I would love there to be a time when I didn’t need to rescue the dogs. I’d love to see them going to kind homes with people who understand them and cherish them.
“But sadly there are so many people exploiting these beautiful dogs, making all kinds of unnatural colours and messing with their genes.
“And when the Frenchie trend is over it means another breed will suffer in the same way.”
If you’d like to find out more about having a French Bulldog you might find reading Teresa of Phoenix Rescue shares the things you need to know before getting a French Bulldog helpful.
To find out more about Phoenix French Bulldog Rescue, visit www.phoenixfrenchbulldogrescue.org