Derbyshire dog shelter overwhelmed by abandoned animals

A dog shelter in Derbyshire can no longer accommodate unwanted animals until further notice as it reaches full capacity.

Just For Dogs rescue center in Brailsford, Ashbourne, is overwhelmed with capacity, with many dogs having to share two and three per kennel.

The charity is calling on its supporters and dog-loving members of the public to contact them if they have been or are looking to adopt and give a rescue dog a five-star home for life.

He also reminds readers to keep in mind that a dog is for life and not just for Christmas.

Center manager Margaret Smith told Derbyshire Live: ‘Staff at the center are sad that at such a traditionally difficult time of year we are unable to offer help to families who face an unwanted pet due to financial hardship, redundancy, pre-Christmas pressure, the pandemic, or relationship breakdowns.

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“We feel utterly helpless and are looking at different ways to highlight the rise of homeless animals this Christmas.”

One of the methods they hoped to raise awareness of their struggles was by hosting a pre-Christmas coffee and hash pie morning and open house.

Margaret added: “This event has been hastily planned, because desperate means call for desperate measures.

“It could well have speeded up the adoption process instead of the usual application protocol which can sometimes take up to a week to ten days from when an inquiry is made until an applicant is invited to see a dog or dogs.

“The application criteria were as strict as usual, but viewing, filling in the application form and interviews could take place in one day unlike the usual email submission process which normally takes place.

“On Sunday, a foster worker may place a dog on reserve until the remaining application process is undertaken.”

The open event took place at the Rescue Center on Sunday, December 12.

Dogs of varying ages are currently housed at Just for Dogs Shelter, all looking for a forever home.

As well as endless streams of homeless dogs, the event included a Christmas raffle, light refreshments, a raffle and a chance to grab a bargain from the on-site charity shop.

Ms Smith said of the event: ‘As expected our event was very low key as it was very organized as a last minute call.

“However, two dogs have been adopted and one reserved, with potential adopters returning to us tomorrow for a second visit, which looks very promising.

“£916 was raised that day.”

But the center is still looking for homes for the rest of the dogs in its care.

She added: “We currently have 36 dogs in our care and one in foster care, with our longest staying dogs being siblings Zoe and Blaze who have been with us since August 2020.

“Both have clearly been traumatized by something that happened in the past.”

But, Just For Dogs also urges people to exercise caution regarding any adoption or purchase of pets and would like to remind everyone that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

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