The latest instalment of our weekly series dedicated to the Alnwick-based dog sanctuary SHAK.
It’s a heartbreaking fact of life that February seems to be the cruellest month when it comes to abandoned dogs.
SHAK founder Stephen Wylie is being inundated with phone calls and emails from people wanting to give up on their pets.
He said: “I think everybody presumes that January is the time the post Christmas kick-outs occur, the Christmas puppies or the dog bought for the family that simply hasn’t worked out.
“However, all my years in this ‘industry’ tells me that February is the cruellest month. This year hasn’t proved any different.
“Maybe it takes a little longer for the fad to wear off, and the expense of Christmas finally catches up after being left short after the first payday, I really don’t know.”
He added: “I think here is a good point to emphasise once again that being such a small charity with resources stretched beyond belief, that we simply cannot get involved with members of the public. This is due to the workload we have with the 70+ dogs in our care at any one time
“ I do not even have the time to reply to such correspondence. It is not out of ignorance, just the need outweighing the reality.
“Since the end of January we have taken in some really sad cases, which again adds to our workload, but for one especially the vet’s needle was the only other option. One didn’t get on with the new puppy brought into the house, one turned up as a stray emaciated and riddled with fleas. She’s not even a year old. You get the picture.”
You can help SHAK by making or donation or giving up some spare time to help the severely under-pressure team. Send a contact number of firstname.lastname@example.org