Pets gifted for Christmas being given up to rescue

Rainbow Rehoming Centre and St Columb’s Animal Rescue & Rehoming (SCARR) have both seen a huge influx of unwanted pets come through their doors over the past year.

The rescue centres are now gearing up for a busy few weeks with more unwanted Christmas pets coming in for rescue and rehoming.

Catherine Magill from SCARR and Anna Hyndman from Rainbow want people to know what to do before getting a pet to ensure they don’t end up in rescue.

Catherine said: “We were asked to take a lot of pets throughout the Christmas period - a lot of cats and dogs and a few rabbits. Some of these were bought as Christmas presents and are already not wanted. I don’t know when the message will get across to not buy pets as Christmas presents.

Plum is a very sweet young cat who is constantly over looked due to her shy nature. Plum is spayed, chipped, fully vaccinated and litter trained.

“Even if it’s been discussed thoroughly and you are planning it, it’s not a great time to bring a new pet in. A better idea would be to buy pet supplies or training lessons to prepare for the pet.

“We don’t rehome pets over Christmas but we had a few coming in. We had an emergency come in on Christmas Eve. We had to take him to the emergency vet and the cost of that is astronomical, but that was a life or death situation so it had to be done. That’s something we say often though, if that was your own pet and it’s Christmas time, not many people would have that money to pay. So we always tell people to get insurance.”

Anna meanwhile said: “I’ve been working in Rainbow for 17 years and I haven’t seen as many dogs and cats through our doors as I have this year. I don’t think it’s because of Covid but because people haven’t researched the breed before they got it and now the dog is too active.

“It’s brilliant that people want a dog and to grow up with a dog in the home but it’s a pity they don’t research the breed before they get them. We get a lot of Collie dogs here because they are very active and intelligent animals, which is just too much for people. They make cute puppies and are often sold cheap so people get them, then have to surrender them.”

Leo is a four month old Collie cross terrier. He needs a hope with another settled dog and a home dedicated to his training.


Catherine meanwhile also detailed some of the pets waiting for homes in SCARR now:

“Plum needs a quiet home with patient and understanding owners. We really think she would be best as an only cat where she will have the opportunity to flourish and relax. She is spayed, chipped, fully vaccinated and litter trained.”

“Patch is 12 but no one can believe his age as he is so lively and full of fun, very healthy for his age too. He is a Pomeranian crossed with a poodle so his coat will need regular grooming and can easily become matted. He is a very friendly boy who loves his walks and is great on and off lead.

Patch is a Pomeranian crossed with a poodle and he is 12 years old.

“Patch is fine around other dogs although he doesn’t like them to go near his food or disturb him when he’s sleeping. He can’t live with cats because he loves to chase them. This wee man is chipped, vaccinated and worm and flea treated to date. He is also house trained.”

“Leo is a gorgeous four-month old Collie cross terrier. He was a little timid initially but has really come out of his shell with the help of his foster sisters so will need a home with another settled dog to give him confidence. Leo is a mix of two active breeds so he will need an active family who will be committed to training and socialising him as he is still very young. He is vet checked, chipped, vaccinated, worm and flea treated to date. He will need to come back to our vets for neutering when he is old enough.

“ Leo is in foster in Omagh and meet and greets will be carried out there.”

To inquire about these pets contact SCARR at [email protected]