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Dogs Trust urge dog owners to think ahead and plan if worst were to happen

Dogs Trust urges owners to think ahead and make provisions for the care of their dog should they become seriously ill or pass away

  • More than half (55%) of UK dog owners in Northern Ireland have not made any plans or thought about who would take over ownership of their dog if they became seriously ill or passed away

  • 46% of dog owners in Northern Ireland think a friend or family member would take over ownership of their dog but have not discussed it with them

More than half (55%) of dog owners in Northern Ireland have not made any plans about who would take over ownership of their dog if the worst were to happen, according to data from Dogs Trust’s brand-new research.(1)

The findings, released today, suggest owners could be putting their dogs in a vulnerable position by not making provisions for their care should they fall seriously ill or pass away, with almost a third (32%) of the dog owners surveyed in Northern Ireland by the charity admitting that they have not even thought about what would happen in that scenario.

Worryingly, 46% of respondents in Northern Ireland also said that whilst they think they have a friend or family member who would take over ownership of the dog, they have not discussed it with the person in question and a further 7% said they do not have anyone who would be able to help – a cause for concern for the charity.

Dogs Trust is urging the public to sign up to their free Canine Care Card Service, to ensure their dog can be cared for by the UK’s largest dog welfare charity at one of their state-of-the-art rehoming centres, should they become too ill to be able to keep them or pass away.

The charity is also encouraging dog owners to appoint a ‘dog guardian’, this could be family member, friend or even a neighbour or vet who agrees to take care of your dog and sign over your dog to Dogs Trust in the interim should you no longer be able to. Dogs Trust also recommends updating your Will to include your Canine Care Card information and notifying friends and family of your wishes to ensure the process is dealt with as smoothly as possible when the time comes.

Conor O’Kane, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Ballymena, said:

“Recent world events have shown that we never know what is around the corner and that life can be unpredictable. As a nation of dog lovers, we know the little quirks that make our dogs unique and I for one enjoy having the peace of mind that if the time ever comes when I can’t be with my dog, Dogs Trust is the next best place for her to be and they will never put a healthy dog down.

“We want to normalise making plans for the care of your dog should the worst happen, so that dog owners can have peace of mind that their four-legged friend will be given the best possible care if they no longer can. We would urge dog owners to think about signing up to a free Canine Care Card, so that should the worst happen Dogs Trust can take your dog in and make sure they are looked after as you would at home.”

This important message comes as the charity launches a heart-warming TV advert this week, encouraging people to consider signing up for a free Canine Care Card. The advert, with a voice over from dog-loving actor, Jonathan Pryce, depicts the close bond between crossbreed, Wilf and his owner, Tom - including Wilf’s penchant for stealing Tom’s underpants. Unfortunately, Tom passes away, but luckily he had signed up to Dogs Trust’s Canine Care Card, meaning that Wilf and all his quirks, were taken in by the charity.

The advert will be airing across UK TV screens for eight weeks and can be viewed below:


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