A local Councillor has issued a pre-Christmas appeal for local people to think carefully before taking on a pet.
Sinn Féin Derry & Strabane Councillor and pet owner Sandra Duffy has said people need to look at the pros and cons involved in bringing a pet into their home and family.
She made her comments after a number of local charities raised concerns about the growing number of dogs being abandoned or left in with local shelters.
Colr. Duffy said: “We always hear around Christmas time appeals to people to think about the responsibility of taking on a new pet into the family home and the outworking’s of that.
“The stories in the local papers the last few weeks warning about the high number of dogs being abandoned or left at animal shelters, needs to be taken on board.
“The figures are very worrying indeed and are a timely reminder if one was needed the care and attention a family pet’s needs.”
Colr. Duffy added: “A pet can bring great joy into a household and give companionship particularly for anyone living on their own.
“A young pup isn’t something you buy at the supermarket and discard when the novelty factor wears off.
“People need to remember a pet could be part of the family for anything up to 10-15 years and as well as feeding could require vet bills and the need to get a licence from the local council.
“I hope people listen to these concerns and fully think it through before purchasing a pet dog this Christmas.”