Staff at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe are calling on dog lovers to consider opening their homes and hearts to a rescue hound while remembering the charity’s iconic slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’.

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The Rehoming Centre at West Down will be caring for more than 60 dogs over the festive period, but as the new year approaches there are 12 homeless hounds who all have their paws crossed that they will be spending it in a loving new home.

Elise Watson, centre manager, said: “Our 12 dogs of Christmas each have differing looks, personalities and needs but each one will make a wonderful addition to a loving new home.

“We continue to see many dogs coming through our doors over the Christmas period, simply because individuals haven’t taken into consideration the lifelong commitment of dog ownership.

“We urge anyone thinking of getting a dog during this busy period to seriously think about the commitment involved before making a decision to bring a four-legged family member into your home. Dog ownership can be challenging but also extremely rewarding, especially if you are giving a rescue dog a second chance at happiness. “

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To find out more about the 12 dogs of Christmas at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe call 0300 303 0292 or visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/our-centre/ilfracombe .

12 Dogs of Christmas

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Benji: age three, terrier. Benji is an affectionate boy who loves fuss and attention. He will quickly become your best friend and happily fall asleep in your lap. Benji loves to play and enjoys brain games and puzzles to show off how clever he is! His hip dysplasia is managed by medication, reduced exercise and monthly assessments with the vet but doesn’t get in the way of his happiness. Benji could do with a quiet, adult-only home where he can be the centre of attention.

Clarence: age 3, crossbreed. Clarence is a clever, charming little boy boasting a lion’s mane of hair. Although shy around strangers, Clarence loves cuddles and fuss once he knows you and enjoys playing games. Clarence requires an adult-only home with no other dogs, however will need to have other dogs as walking buddies to build his confidence when out and about. Clarence would benefit from some additional training support from the centre, therefore a home no more than 30 minutes away would be ideal.

Sonny: age two, saluki. A quiet and intelligent boy, Sonny would make the perfect gentle companion. Patience and consistency are essential for this handsome boy, as he can become worried by new environments and people. Sonny will need patient owners who are prepared to spend the time building a bond and who will be able to continue to build his confidence once in his new home. Sonny is dog-friendly and can be homed to a family with children aged 16 and above.

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Ginger: age five, terrier cross. Ginger is a beautiful girl with a sweet, sensitive nature. Although Ginger can be wary of new people, through gentle handling she soon becomes a cuddly, affectionate girl who initiates fuss. Ginger enjoys playing with toys and loves nothing more than her squeaky ball, showing off impressive speed when playing a game of fetch. Ginger requires an adult-only home and could live with another calm dog. Due to Ginger’s shyness around strangers, she would benefit from a home where there are not regular visitors.

Jacko: age nine, Jack Russell terrier. Jacko is a sweet and sensitive boy who requires a hands-off approach until he gets to know you. This intelligent terrier loves going for walks and playing with tennis balls and enjoys demonstrating how clever he is through brain games. Jacko would like a quiet, adult-only home where he can go for peaceful walks. He can become worried by large dogs and requires an understanding home preferably no more than one hour away from the centre so that continued support can be provided.

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Murray: age two, border collie cross. Sweet, affectionate and playful, Murray is a very intelligent collie with lots of energy. His favourite game is fetch, and he would therefore love a nice garden in his new home. Murray is incredibly bright and responsive to training. It would benefit him to channel his energy into further training and make plenty of time to play. Murray would like an adult-only home away from traffic where he can be the only pet and receive your undivided attention.

Jumbo, age two, border collie cross. Jumbo is a handsome boy who loves fuss and cuddles when he gets to know you. His favourite thing to do is learn new tricks, of which he already has an impressive list including weaving through legs. Jumbo would like an adult-only home with patient and understanding owners. He would benefit living somewhere with quiet walks nearby and would prefer to be the only dog in the family.

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Jon Snow, age two, crossbreed. A sweet dog with a great deal of zest for life, Jon Snow doesn’t let his deafness get in the way. He is such an intelligent boy he has even learnt a plethora of tricks including ‘sit’, ‘paw’ and ‘twist’ in sign language. Jon Snow’s favourite thing to do is play with people and toys, and he could do with an adult-only home. A rural setting would suit Jon Snow best, where he can be taken for quiet walks with minimal traffic. Jon Snow would like a home where he will have someone around most of the time.

Lara, age 10, Staffordshire bull terrier. Lara is a complete softie who loves fuss and attention. She is happiest when around people and enjoys her home comforts. Lara loves walks with lots of exciting places to sniff and would like a home where she will not be left alone. A secure garden would be well suited to Lara, as well as a home where she can be the only pet and build a strong bond with her new family. If you want cuddles on the sofa, Lara is the perfect dog.

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Gina, age three, greyhound. Gina is a retired racer who still loves a good sprint but who quickly settles and loves a good snooze on her bed. She is not used to a home environment and will therefore need patient and understanding owners willing to spend the time building on her basic training. Gina will need a home with children 11-years and over and cannot live with cats or small furries.

Tony, age two, Labrador cross. Tony loves nothing more than to play with toys and will happily play fetch with you. He is sociable with other dogs on walks but would prefer to be the only dog in the household so he can claim all of the toys for himself. Tony is a typical lab in the sense that he is very food motivated which will be a useful training tool. He is friendly with new people and can live in a family with children 14-years and older.

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Ella, age 16 months, crossbreed. Although shy at first, Ella is a typical playful puppy once she gets to know you. Plenty of gentle reassurance will be required to help this little girl really come out of her shell, and she is sociable with other dogs on walks. Ella would prefer to be the only dog in the home and can live with children 16-years and older. An active and patient home would suit Ella best, where someone will be around most of the time and separation can be built gradually.

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