By Charley Goff
A dog may be man’s (or woman’s) best friend – but a north Essex pet rescue centre reports a worrying increase in the number of dogs abandoned after being bought as fashionable accessories.
Mistley Place Park near Manningtree, which takes in unwanted dogs, cats and other small animals with the aim of rehoming them, has no fewer than nine miniature dogs waiting for homes. They include three chihuahuas- Chloe, Yogi and Maggie- along with several terriers, a toy poodle, Jackson, and a French bulldog Lola.
Charlotte Cleveland, who works at the centre, said: “People are just breeding them thinking it will be easy to sell them for lots of money, but it’s not.”
She said that lots of the small dogs the centre takes in are young dogs that breeders haven’t been able to sell on.
“We get spurts of breeds. Last year we had a lot of Pomeranians,” she said. This may be due to the rate of celebs seen photographed with these types of dogs. Celebs seen with fashionable pets include; Paris Hilton, Kylie Jenner and Miley Cyrus.
“There is no ideal type of person to rehome a dog. It’s just finding the right match with the person and the dog. Retired couples are always good because they’re at home all day. But some dogs benefit from a family with lots of children to run around and play.”
She said the centre will keep any dog until the day it dies if it can’t be rehomed.
Overall in the UK there are 144,800 Yorkshire terriers microchipped, making them the eighth most popular breed. Chihuahua, lhasa apsos and bichon frises’ are ranked at 17th, 18th and 19th.
According to the BBC Dog Map, the most popular dogs in Colchester and its surrounding area are labrador retrievers, with 5,000 microchipped in north Essex. The second most popular dogs are Staffordshire bull terriers, with 2,700 microchipped.