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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

On the first day of Christmas, Dogs Trust Ballymena gave to me... 250 puppies!

Conor O’Kane, Manager at Dogs Trust Ballymena being kissed by one of the centre's lurcher puppies!

Conor O’Kane, Manager at Dogs Trust Ballymena being kissed by one of the centre's lurcher puppies!

It may be the time of year to be singing ‘The twelve days of Christmas’ while eating a mince pie, but staff at Dogs Trust Ballymena can be forgiven for getting the lyrics slightly mixed up, after spending the last 12 months caring for a plethora of puppies. 


The incredible, dedicated, dog-loving team at Dogs Trust Ballymena Rehoming Centre has provided round the clock care to puppies of varying breed, shape and size, every month of this year. 

December’s litter, who will spend Christmas with the charity, are nine loving Lurcher pups known as the Ballymena Kardashian's - named after the famous American family. The perfect pups, who are enjoying precious time with their two-year-old mum Kendall, will turn eight-weeks-old on Christmas Day. 


The team at Ballymena have cared for around 250 puppies this year and as Christmas Day approaches, the pups currently in the charity’s care are in for a Christmas they will never forget with a visit from a very special Santa Paws – none other than Conor O’Kane, Manager at Dogs Trust Ballymena. 

Conor O’Kane, Manager at Dogs Trust Ballymena being kissed by one of the centre's lurcher puppies!

Conor goes all out every year to spoil all the dogs spending Christmas in kennels by cooking a la carte Christmas dinners on Christmas Eve which are then delivered on Christmas and Boxing Day as an extra special treat.   


Dogs Trust’s very own Santa Paws Conor said:

“As a team we love Christmas, and we do our very best to make it extra special for all the dogs in our care at this time of year.  All our dogs are offered a Christmas dinner in addition to their normal food and receive a present or two from Santa.  


“It is only when you look back on the last 12 months you appreciate how busy we have been particularly when caring for puppies galore. While it can be easier to find new homes for puppies, it also involves a huge amount of hard work caring for litters of newborn pups, often with several litters at the same time. 

I want to thank all our staff and volunteers for their amazing work this year as well as all the people who have adopted from us. Many of our adopted pups will be spending their first Christmas as part of a family and we hope it is a special festive season for all.” 

Lurcher puppies


So, let’s all sing along as we reminisce on ‘The twelve months before Christmas’ at Dogs Trust Ballymena


January started with a bang with the ‘most curious’ pups who were playful and adventurous - Ned, Nelly and Nina the Staffy crossbreeds.   


February involved caring for the ‘most yummy’ pups named after foods including Cupcake, Coconut, Chilli and Taco – a litter of eight loveable Labradors.  


March saw staff care for the ‘most unique’ pups, Moss, Boss and Bess, a trio of long-haired collies. 


In April forget the three French Hens, the team were caring for three French Bulldog crossbreeds - Star, Magic and Rainbow – who were the ‘most magical’ pups. 


Cockapoo puppy

In May two Cockapoo pups were born at the centre, Milan and Capri – who were the ‘most fluffy’ pups. 


Love was in the air in June with two terrier crossbreeds, Medhi and Whitney, who were named after Love Islands contestants and were the ‘most loved up’ pups. 


July saw the team care for the ‘smallest pups’, five Chihuahua crossbreeds named after birds (although there were no swans a-swimming or geese a-laying) Swift, Robin, Puffin, Sparrow and Finch.  

Spaniel crossbreed pup


In August the ‘most full of life’ pups bounded into Ballymena, nine spaniel crossbreeds who were all giving names beginning with B including Barnaby, Bertie, Bonnie, Bronte and Biddie.   


In September the ‘most plentiful litter’ of pups were born at the centre with 12 playful Labrador crossbreeds all vying for attention and cuddles.  They were giving Nordic names including Torvi, Astrid, Bjorn and Lars. 


In October staff cared for five adorable pug puppies Paul, Percy, Peter, Pandora and Penelope. They were playful and loved their toys, so were the ‘most playful’ pups.  

St Bernard pup


November’s residents included the ‘most chunky’ pups with four beautiful St Bernard puppies named Molly, Barney, Dino and Raptor who are all in new homes for Christmas.   


And December’s litter, which will remain together with mum Kendall throughout the festive season, are the Ballymena Kardashians, the ‘most ravishing’ Lurcher pups which include Kylie, Kim, Kris, Stormi and North.     

Lurcher puppy


If you are interested in adopting a canine best pal from Dogs Trust Ballymena come down and meet the team at the centre who will guide, you through the adoption process, or check out current residents on our website - 


To buy a Christmas gift for current residents you can view their wish list 


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