“Give Socks Not Dogs” was the festive message when Lesley Griffiths visited Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre in Bridgend.
The Cabinet Secretary was keen to offer her support to Dogs Trust’s Christmas campaign which aims to take a stand against impulse puppy purchasing, encouraging people to #GiveSocksNotDogs this Christmas.
Responsible Dog Ownership is a key theme for the Welsh Government. Earlier this year, legislation was introduced in Wales that requires all dogs over eight weeks to be microchipped, unless exempted by a veterinary surgeon.
The traceability of all dogs back to their owners and ultimately back to the breeders will help to encourage more responsible ownership and breeding. Dogs Trust have been key in raising awareness of microchipping and have invested heavily in this area, providing free microchips to Local Authorities and vets, as well as free training to enforcers.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“I was delighted to visit Dogs Trust Rehoming facility in Bridgend and make a few new friends in the process! #GiveSocksNotDogs is a great campaign, a fun one, but one that has a serious message behind it.
“We are committed to encouraging responsible dog ownership and protecting animal welfare. I am very grateful for the work that Dogs Trust has done , both practically and financially to help raise awareness of the issue of microchipping requirements. The work they continue to carry out is essential in educating and assisting the general public.
The Cabinet Secretary also discussed how the Welsh Government has introduced stricter criteria for licensed breeders and is revising the Welfare Code of Practice for dogs.
Dogs Trust Bridgend Supporter Relations Officer, Rhiannon Chamberlain, said:
“We were delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary to Dogs Trust Bridgend. It was an excellent opportunity to hear her plans to improve animal welfare as well as discuss what has been done to improve dog breeding practices in Wales.
“Her visit was particularly timely, especially at this time of year when there is a huge spike in people wanting to buy puppies as Christmas presents, which can fuel unscrupulous breeding practices.
“In addition, for many new puppy owners, the realities that come with owning a dog are often overlooked and we see first-hand how some people end up simply abandoning puppies once the thrill of it all has passed because they haven’t considered the long term commitments of owning a dog.”