Dogs Trust has reported it has received a call every six minutes regarding unwanted pets since reopening their adoption centre after the festive period.
Dogs Trust in Ballymena, said the charity had been inundated with calls from people looking to give up their pets, only days after receiving it as a gift for Christmas.
However the charity revealed it could take up to five months before dogs ultimately end up in its care.
The news follows after Dogs Trust urged the public not to give dogs as Christmas presents, as statistics showed online searches for puppies had increased by 44% in the countdown to Christmas.
Research found that the phrase “buy a puppy” increased by 44% from 95,659 to 137,499 a week before Christmas last year, compared to the yearly average and the phrase “get a dog” increased by nearly 27% two weeks before Christmas, resulting in 357,779 online searches being increased to 452,656.
Speaking to Belfast Live, a spokesperson for Dogs Trust Ballymena, said: “There are many reasons why people have to give up their dogs and Dogs Trust are here to help, so if you’re ever struggling to care for your dog, please seek our advice.
“We have found that although puppies may be purchased as gifts over the festive season, it can take on average up to five months before they ultimately end up in our care; with some of the common reasons being that owners are unprepared for their puppy’s behavioural development as they get older, as well as the amount of time and care needed to look after them.”
They added: “We don’t believe anyone sets out to get a pet, with the intention of giving them up for adoption, however it is important that we continue to highlight the responsibility involved in getting a dog, as it is a lifelong commitment; in a bid to ensure more dogs find the right owners.”