Dogs arrive at the refuge, for many different reasons.

Sometimes, their owners are no longer able to look after them, so we step in and take over their care, and try to rehome them as soon as we can.

We see many situations, including when owners are suffering ill health, and have to be parted from their beloved pets, because it’s impossible for them to stay in their own homes. This just cannot be helped, and is heartbreaking for both the animal and the person involved.

At Live PAWS, we will always endeavour to help any dog in need, but our President, Mark, wants to get the message across that people need to really seriously consider the implications of owning one of these beautiful creatures.

We have all heard the saying “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”, but this message applies to every day of the year! So, whilst we try to be there for every animal, Mark is adamant that the refuge shouldn’t be viewed as a “recycling plant” for unwanted dogs.

Of course, the welfare of the animals is of the utmost importance, and everyone who is involved in the charity would put that above all else.

But we also have to emphasise how vital it is to consider every implication, such as the costs of a dog’s food and any veterinary bills, and how it would be looked after, if the owner were to go on holiday.

Being offered a gorgeous little ball of fur, free of charge, by someone whose dog has had an unwanted litter of puppies, often leads to heartache for the animal.

What starts off as a cute and adorable plaything, may grow beyond all expectations. The apartment that seemed OK when it was only a couple of months old, may become a prison to the animal, who only gets to go out on the balcony, if it’s lucky!

There is a fine line between the charity trying its hardest every animal, and getting the message across that owning a dog is not to be undertaken lightly.

A combination of the pandemic and Brexit has been detrimental to the well-being of many pets. Countless people have lost their incomes, or seen them reduced, drastically, with many of them even having had to leave the island.

Some animals have just simply been abandoned, and these pitiful souls are found wandering the streets – confused, hungry and frightened. The more “fortunate” ones have been surrendered to the refuges, which is a much kinder option, of course.

So we always encourage people to carefully think through their taking on of any animal, and the size of the necessary commitment, as well as contemplate all possible eventualities that may occur in the future.

Over 140 dogs were adopted at Live PAWS last year, and we know that there are many responsible owners, willing to put the needs of their beloved pets, first and foremost. But we will always try to help those owners who are struggling, because, after all, a dog’s safety and happiness are what matter most to us all.