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Monday, September 12, 2011

Dumping of the handbag dogs: Hundreds of miniature pooches are now being abandoned by owners who bought them as fashion accessories


Can you help? Shelby, a two-year-old chihuahua bitch, is at Dogs Trust Shoreham, West Sussex. Call 01273 452 576 for more information

Padding along the path, Sammy the long-haired dachshund took a few steps before stopping abruptly and plonking himself down on his silky rump. Refusing to move, he looked up with a doleful pair of brown eyes, pleading to be carried.

It was clear from the moment Sammy arrived at a rehoming centre early last year that he was a dog with problems. In fact, the poor thing didn’t really know how to be a dog at all. For the best part of two years, he had been carried around under his owner’s arm or in a handbag.

Halo, left, and Brody, right, are two chihuahua who are currently housed at the Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre, in Huyton Liverpool

The cute bundle of fur had become a prima donna on four miniature legs, with no understanding of simple things such as going for a walk or how to behave around other dogs. ‘I’ve never fallen so much in love with a dog,’ says Dogs Trust education officer Charlotte Peters.

‘He was absolutely gorgeous, he would give you those eyes that would make you melt but, oh, he was so badly behaved. His female owner had carried him around everywhere. She spoiled him rotten, treated him like a baby, so left him with a lot of problems — he’d snarl if you patted another dog in front of him.

Fuelling the trend: Many of the dogs' owners are following the lead of celebrities such as Paris Hilton

‘He had to be the centre of attention. And if you tried to take him for a walk he would trot along for a couple of minutes, then stop, sit down and expect to be picked up.’

A sorry tale and, unfortunately, one that is increasingly being played out at animal rescue centres around the country. This week, the Dogs Trust — the country’s largest dog welfare charity — revealed the last year had seen more than 400 so-called handbag dogs being dumped at their doors, a 44 per cent increase.

Whisky is a three-year-old Yorkshire terrier. While he doesn’t like strangers and needs an experienced new owner, Whisky still loves a cuddle with his favourite people, as well as playing with his toys. Call Dogs Trust Darlington on 01325 333 114 for more information

Why? Largely because the dogs’ owners became bored with them, much as a child gets bored with a new toy.

Inspired by stars who treat these tiny pets as just another fashion accessory, celebrity-obsessed members of the public have been buying the dogs on a whim, only to find they can’t cope with them or afford them. The dogs can cost upwards of £1,000, and that’s before any food, grooming or vet bills are taken into account.

Mowgli is a one-year-old pomeranian who was found straying in Scotland. Mowgli has been treated like a baby rather than a dog, so needs a committed and determined new owner to train him. Call Dogs Trust Harefield on 01895 453 930 for more information

source: dailymail


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