ANIMAL rescue centre bosses say dozens of animals have been discarded on their doorstep over Christmas.
Officers at North Clwyd Animal Rescue (NCAR), near Holywell, said they have had their busiest Christmas in years with scores of animals left at their centre.
A dozen stray dogs were taken in during Christmas week alone, with more litters of puppies and kittens given shelter during December at the centre’s Trelogan base.
Karen Weed, animal welfare manager at NCAR, said the levels of animals being cast away this Christmas was unprecedented.
She said: “It’s really heartbreaking people are abandoning their pets in the week of Christmas.
“This year has been worse than previous, we’ve had 12 stray dogs in a week over Christmas, as well as stray cats. I’ve not known a Christmas like this due to the litters of puppies we’ve had.
“It’s been horrific weather. The animals are coming in cold, hungry and in these conditions, some of the younger animals can’t survive.”
Karen said Christmas is always a particularly busy period for NCAR, as people may become bored with their previously loved animals.
“I think a lot of people don’t want to deal with the implications or simply just don’t want a pet anymore over Christmas.
“We do get a large number of calls around this time. Christmas is always bad, it starts before and carries on afterwards. We don’t encourage pets as presents – they are for life. But we do want people to come along and see the dogs and cats we have here, to give them a good home as we are full to the brim at the moment,” she said.
Officials are keen to dispel myths surrounding the condition of animals taken in by rescue centres. According to Mrs Weed, animals are rarely taken in to rescue centres such as NCAR due to ill health.
She said: “There is a preconceived opinion of rescue animals which is not the case.
“Animals are rarely admitted for the reasons that people think, such as health problems.”