If you are an animal lover, you know that dogs are a lifelong commitment. They are not ‘disposable.’ However, each Christmas, people purchase puppies as gifts and give them to owners that can’t or shouldn’t care for them.
Meet Ronnie. At just 8-weeks-old he was purchased online and given as a gift. Just days later, he was left at Battersea Dogs and Cats Rescue in London.
The new owner had recently become homeless and could no longer keep or afford the puppy. The sweet, adorable boy is currently being held at the shelter to receive vaccinations, undergo medical exams, and receive a microchip. Once they feel he is ready, they’re certain he’ll be finding a new home soon.
“He’s so affectionate, even with new people, and loves a cuddle and a fuss. He also loves playing with toys and running around the kitchen. He’s such a sweet boy,” said Battersea staff member Alice Holt told Daily Mail UK.
When Steven Craddock, the shelter’s owner, first met Ronnie, he was saddened to think that he was abandoned so soon. Although, this day in age, he’s unfortunately not surprised.
“It doesn’t shock any of us that the first dog through our doors in 2018 was bought online,” Steven said. “Ronnie is just one of many thousands of dogs who will be bought off an unregulated website in the coming months and end up in a home where the owner is unprepared and unable to take proper care of them.”
Sadly, the veterinary staff believes that Ronnie was taken from his family much too early and probably sold by a breeder with no regard for anything but a profit. One of the biggest problems faced by animal welfare advocates is online dog sales.
In the U.K. alone, it’s estimated that over 20,000 pets will be abandoned this winter. Battersea predicts that they might house up to 550 animals at any given time.
The rescue group has recently launched a fundraising effort to help stray pets out in the cold temperatures this winter; it’s called ‘In From The Cold.’ With money raised, Battersea Dogs and Cats will provide a warm bed for abandoned dogs and cats.
Steven hopes that Ronnie’s story will help urge people to seriously consider the huge responsibility dog ownership entails. This is also a reminder to adopt dogs and puppies from shelters, instead of purchasing them online from inhumane breeders.
The shelter has received an overwhelming response from potential adopters, and once they pick the perfect owner, he’ll have his forever home. With a face like that, it’s no surprise so many people want to take him in!
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Ronnie is the first abandoned Christmas dog to arrive at Battersea Dogs Home this year. Would you give him a home? (Via ITV London)
Posted by ITV News on Thursday, January 4, 2018