‘Christmas chuck-outs’ - newly bought dogs abandoned just days after Christmas - are being abandoned at a Derry animal shelter.
The ‘Journal’ can reveal that seven pups have been abandoned at the Rainbow Rehoming Centre in the past week alone.
A centre spokesperson said: “We expect more and more pups to be in need of help as the Christmas novelty wears off for many people and children.
“To abandon any animal is despicable but to abandon young pups, who are extremely vulnerable and helpless, is disgusting.
“The person or people responsible for this should be ashamed of themselves as they showed absolutely no regard for the welfare of these pups whatsoever.”
Meanwhile, the Centre has for the second time in just weeks been forced to ship dogs to rescue centres in Britain because it cannot cope with the volume of unwanted cats and dogs locally.
Last month, it was revealed that 19 dogs were transported to three different rescue centres in different parts of England at a cost of £800.
At the start of January, the Centre made another trip across the water - this time to Scottish Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue - with three “staffies”.
“Although we are very grateful that other rescue centres across the water can offer their help from time to time, this is not something we should have to do, said the Rainbow spokesperson. “Yet there are too many unwanted dogs here and not enough homes.”
The Centre has also voiced concern at the increase in the number of emaciated and under-nourished dogs locally.