A north Northumberland charity which cares for abused, mistreated and neglected dogs says it is bracing itself for the arrival of more unwanted Christmas pets.
SHAK (Safe Home and Kindness), which has just opened a new headquarters in Alnwick, was established in 2006 and, since then, has cared for hundreds of abandoned and ill-treated animals.
But despite decades of pre-Christmas campaigns centred around the slogan that ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, the charity says many people are still not listening.
“I don’t think people get the message,” said SHAK’s Joan Austin. “You see a lot going around buying puppies for Christmas and they turn into a bigger dog which might make a mess and has to be trained.”
The annual influx of unwanted pets started at the beginning of January and SHAK’s kennels remain full unless it can find foster homes.
This winter, it has been supported by an Ashington-based business, which has made 55 blankets for all the dogs currently being looked after at the charity’s sanctuary.
Joan contacted The All-in-One Company – which makes onesies – after hearing about its offer to provide free blankets for charities. “It was very generous, better than I could have expected,” she said. “It was a fantastic gesture and very much appreciated.”
Kate Dawson, The All-in-One Company’s director and founder, said: “We’d all sat down and thought of beneficial ways to use all the larger pieces of remnant fabric we have. We’ve always given away sacks and sacks of small off-cuts to schools and craft groups and thought that if we made blankets they could be put to good use.”
“We’re all animal lovers so we were of course only too happy to help.”