Looking into their adorable big eyes it’s hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t want these animals.
But most of these pets really were just for Christmas – and were abandoned after the festive season.
Unwanted dogs being cared for by Chesterfield’s RSPCA branch have more than doubled since December.
The charity, on Spital Lane, is currently caring for 44 pooches – with 25 of those brought in since Christmas day.
Animal care manager Gary Taylor said: “That’s almost a dog a day.
“A lot of owners struggle to cope and don’t realise what exactly is involved. It seems like a good idea as a Christmas present, then reality sets in.”
Gary said the branch had seen an influx in puppies and young dogs – especially bull breeds – needing new homes.
He added: “They make fantastic family pets. We’ve recently taken several staffy pups which the owner could no longer care for.
“We also had a couple of lurchers abandoned. They were tied to a lamppost and found by an animal welfare officer. They could have been a Christmas purchase as were only around five months old.”
Fortunately these puppies have been rehomed but not all stories have happy endings. The charity also found a dog tied up outside the former Derbyshire Times office on Station Road last month.
Gary added: “It was an older dog, a little underweight, wearing a harness and with a child’s sock on it’s paw. When we took the sock off, the paw was very sore and the dog also had nerve damage to its back. Sadly it had to be put down.”
Homes are also needed for 18 cats, rabbits, cockerels, rats and even a pot-bellied pig.
The Derbyshire Times will be helping rehome some of these animals by launching a Rescue Me campaign and featuring a pet looking for a new home each week.
To contact Chesterfield RSPCA call 01246 273358.