Pet Gazette DECEMBER 2018 - Page 24

24 | PET GAZETTE | DOGS TRUST A DOG IS FOR LIFE… It’s a slogan that seems as if it has been around forever, Pet Gazette looks at how Dogs Trust’s famous Christmas message is faring on its 40th anniversary in 2018 E veryone has seen the adverts; sad and lonely, rejected dogs cloaked by a grey filter whilst melancholy yet Christmassy music plays, before the grand finale of the iconic line “a dog is for life not just for Christmas”. It seems the advert and accompanying slogan have almost become as much of an indicator that Christmas has arrived as the reappearance of Slade (also not just for Christmas), or the jolly Father Christmas that adorns the back of the delivery trucks of a popular soft drink manufacturer during this period. This year the classic slogan of the UK’s oldest animal welfare charity (having been founded in 1891) will turn 40 years old The famous Dogs Trust slogan first appeared on screens in 1978, and according to Emily Mayer of the charity, the words came after former chief executive Clarissa Baldwin was asked to come up with something “cheap and cheerful, that really hit home the responsible dog ownership message” when working for the charity’s public relations team. Mayer goes on to say that 40 years later, “the iconic slogan is our mantra, and shapes everything we do at Dogs Trust – reminding people that dogs should never be given as gifts or bought on a whim”. Mayer says the charity is “pleased” that the slogan has become “a huge part of Christmas culture”, however she insists there is “still work to be done every year”. “We still have to pick up the pieces when dogs are abandoned after Christmas,” explains Mayer. She calls dogs a “wonderful addition” for a family however she echoes the sentiment of the classic statement saying “they must never be an impulsive decision”. ADVICE ON PREVENTING ‘IMPULSE’ PURCHASES/ ADOPTIONS Dogs Trust’s method of preventing dogs from being handed in after Christmas, is to educate would-be owners on how to be a responsible dog owner along with encouraging them to adopt over purchasing. With Lucy’s Law banning the sale of puppies in English pet shops, Mayer says she would advise retailers to tell customers looking to acquire a dog to look at rehoming a rescue dog. “We have thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes in our rehoming centres waiting to meet their special someone,” she explains before pointing out one of the modern pitfalls of new dog owners adding: “We would never recommend buying a puppy from any online source.” Mayer says potential new owners should be told to “thoroughly to do [their] research so [they] can be confident that the puppy you have your eye on, has been bred responsibly”. Pet retailers can always refer those looking at a new dog to the Dogs Trust website which Mayer says features “a wealth of advice”, to help would-be owners “be confident that they are buying a puppy from a December 2018