Uxbridge Gazette - - Front Page -

MEET Han­nah, a ris­ing star of the screen.

The four and a half month old Lurcher puppy, pre­vi­ous res­i­dent at Dogs Trust West Lon­don is the star of the char­ity’s newly launched Christ­mas ad with a dif­fer­ence, land­ing the very im­por­tant mes­sage that ‘dogs aren’t Christ­mas presents.’

As Black Fri­day – one of the busiest shop­ping days of the year – ar­rived last week, one char­ity bucked the trend and asked peo­ple not to buy some­thing very par­tic­u­lar this Christ­mas. Dogs Trust, the char­ity be­hind the fa­mous ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christ­mas®’ slo­gan, has launched a funny new ad to demon­strate this.

The film has been spurred by the fact that ev­ery year the char­ity takes in dogs who were un­wanted Christ­mas presents.

Last year alone Dogs Trust West Lon­don had over 330 calls from peo­ple want­ing to han­dover their dogs from Christ­mas Day through to the end of March, with many of these be­ing Christ­mas presents that haven’t lived up to ex­pec­ta­tions, or given up once their own­ers re­alised the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of dog own­er­ship.

In the com­i­cal ad we see ac­tors treat­ing Christ­mas presents like dogs – tak­ing a games con­sole for a walk, throw­ing a ball for a hairdryer, try­ing to get a drone to sit and say­ing good­night to a bot­tle of per­fume.

The scene then switches to a wo­man try­ing to wrap Han­nah as a present be­fore TV pre­sen­ter Mel Giedroyc ex­plains in a voiceover that ‘Christ­mas presents aren’t dogs! And dogs aren’t Christ­mas presents. A dog is for life, not just for Christ­mas.’

Mel, who has her own res­cue dog Juno, said:“It’s bonkers that peo­ple are still buy­ing dogs as Christ­mas presents. I hope this ad helps peo­ple re­alise the crazi­ness of giv­ing a bounc­ing, play­ful, poo­ing puppy as a present.

“Get­ting a dog needs to be a much-pon­dered de­ci­sion. They’re gor­geous and love­able but bloody hard work. Re­mem­ber ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christ­mas®’!” Richard Moore re­hom­ing cen­tre man­ager at Dogs Trust West Lon­don, ex­plained fur­ther: “Ev­ery year – even on Christ­mas Day it­self – we have dogs brought to us from peo­ple who have re­ceived them as presents and don’t want them. “Once the ini­tial Christ­mas sparkle has worn off and peo­ple re­alise the huge com­mit­ment it takes to own a dog, they come into our care.

“It’s heart-break­ing for us to see when it could so eas­ily have been pre­vented.”

He added: “We’re so proud that our very own Han­nah is the star of this year’s Christ­mas ad­vert!.

“She came to us at the end of Oc­to­ber as a ner­vous young girl, and is now en­joy­ing life in her for­ever home with the Rus­sell fam­ily from Feltham.”

He fin­ished: “Dogs are a won­der­ful ad­di­tion in the right cir­cum­stances, but be­fore bring­ing one into our homes we all need to think whether they are right for our life­styles and, whether we can give them a home for life.

“Christ­mas presents aren’t dogs, and dogs aren’t Christ­mas presents. It’s that sim­ple.”

The Christ­mas ad will be shown in cin­e­mas around the coun­try and on­line from Novem­ber 23.

The char­ity is urg­ing peo­ple to share the film on­line and help spread the word.

Christ­mas presents aren’t dogs and dogs aren’t Christ­mas presents.

Richard Moore re­hom­ing cen­tre man­ager


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