Rainbow urges people to consider commitment required with a new pet

Zac is one of the dogs currently being looked after at the Rainbow Rehoming Centre in Eglinton.
Zac is one of the dogs currently being looked after at the Rainbow Rehoming Centre in Eglinton.

The Rainbow Rehoming Centre has urged people to think carefully about what is involved before taking on a pet following social media requests for the centre to take in dogs and cats in four days.

Anna Hyndman, a director of the Rainbow Centre, said that while some people have good reasons for no longer being able to care for their pets, there were people taking on dogs and cats without giving serious thought to the commitment involved.

Ms. Hyndman was speaking after the centre received 19 Facebook messages from people looking to have their animals rehomed over four days last week. The figures don’t include telephone requests.

The reasons stipulated by people include moving home; having a child; having no time for their pet; their pet needs trained or the owner not understanding the breed.

Ms. Hyndman stressed that taking on a dog or cat was a long-term commitment with a number of issues to consider carefully beforehand.

She said that the centre had, on occasions, contacted people who had also previously taken an animal but couldn’t cope with it.

Anna said: “A lot of people taking in a pet don’t realise the commitment and how their lives can change. We find a lot of people are not researching breeds.”

Ms, Hyndman said that giving up a pet was a difficult decision. “If people would just start to pull on the breaks and if they are taking on a cat or dog they should think about what they are taking on - how long a pet can live, toilet training, training dogs on a lead, medical bills and socialising dogs,” she said.

“If they do the research life will be a lot easier. You can get professional help with rectifying problems and there are people who do this locally and you might not have to go down the route of giving up the pet.”

Ms. Hyndman also said that there seemed to be a widespread myth that a family can’t keep a pet if they have a child, and advised people that there was a lot of expert, free information available, such as video tutorials and fact sheets available on the Dogs Trust website, www.dogstrust.org.uk/

Anna said that Rainbow had to give priority to stray, abandoned and Dog Pound pets and while they will help when they can, owners can themselves rehome if they take measures such as asking potential new owners a lot of questions regarding previous pets, seek references from a vet, and do home checks.

Marks & Spencer Foyleside will host two bag packs for the charity on March 9 and 10, with shifts being 10-12 pm 12-2 pm 2-4 pm 4-6 pm Volunteers aged over 16 are asked to text name and shift to the fundraising mobile 07857598777.

Rainbow will also be hosting their Doggy Agility Day at St Columb’s Park (Browning Drive Entrance) on Easter Monday, April 2 at 2pm. Registration taking place from 1.15pm and entrance is £5 minimum donation per dog, Prizes on the day have been sponsored by Jollyes Pet Store.

APPEAL

Two-years-old stray Collie dog ‘Zac,’ described as “a very affectionate dog which thrives on human company” is seeking his forever home.

For more information ring 028 71812882, or check out the Rainbow Rehoming Centre’s Facebook page or website: www.rainbowrehoming.com