UK

Daily Mail Journalist Shona Sibary Abandons Her Dogs In Favour Of Puppies, Sparks Outrage

28/08/2015 18:13 BST | Updated 28/08/2015 18:59 BST

A Daily Mail journalist sparked outrage on Friday after she revealed that she abandons her dogs when they stop being "cute puppies".

Shona Sibary admitted discarding four dogs that she had paid hundreds of pounds for because they had grown out of being puppies and proved an inconvenience.

She wrote in her column: "Over the past four years I have fallen in love with four puppies and, on each occasion, driven miles with hundreds of pounds of cash in my pocket to buy them."

shona sibary

Shona Sibary

"Then, months later, I have turned my back on them and given them away. I admit this is strange, not least because no one is more welcoming and loving to a doe-eyed little puppy than me."

Sibary recounts the time she gave away her boisterous dog, Juno, who enjoyed scaling high garden fences.

Before the husky-cross had even been pushed out the family's door, Sibary already had her eyes on a miniature dachshund.

dogs

Shona Sibary's article in the Mail

Of the other three dogs Sibary admits giving away, one was overly aggressive with other dogs and two others were sent away for killing sheep near her rural Devon home.

Despite shirking four dogs in as many years, Sibary admits to now having a seven-month-old whippet-cross cocker spaniel.

She writes: "And if she continues to leap onto the kitchen counters to steal food I’ll probably get rid of her, too."

Her comments sparked outrage online, as well as among animal charities, that have to pick up the pieces of irresponsible pet ownership.

Dogs Trust criticised Sibary for her "unacceptable behaviour" and said her article does highlight that owning a dog is a responsibility "for which not everyone is built".

Giles Webber, Dogs Trust’s director of Rehoming, said: "Everyone knows Dogs Trust’s famous slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas,’ but with over 110,000 stray or abandoned dogs needing care every year, too many people choose to ignore it.

"Sadly, for every dedicated, responsible dog owner there are too many people just like Shona Sibary who are happy to give up their dog when it loses the cute factor or when it becomes too much effort."

Mr Webber added: "We urge everyone who has been angered, appalled or disgusted by her attitude to visit our rehoming website, sponsor one of our dogs, volunteer or make sure anyone you know who is thinking of getting a dog, thinks Rescue First."

Sibary defended her article, saying the dogs have "all gone to loving homes".

The RSPCA said that Sibary getting rid of four dogs in four years was "heartbreaking" and highlighted the danger around abandoning pets.

In a statement, the animal welfare group said: "It may seem that the breeds of dog which Shona chooses are the problem but it isn’t. It is the lack of long term commitment and responsibility which for dogs can be at least twelve years."

The RSPCA added: "Giving away dogs once they become too difficult or deemed no longer cute is completely unacceptable and it is a dangerous and very irresponsible message to teach children.

"Dogs are not disposable commodities which can be discarded at will and this sort of behaviour and attitude has a significant impact on dog welfare and creates a huge burden for animal welfare charities.

"Not only this, Shona may have also been unwittingly contributing to another dog welfare problem which is the illegal importation of puppies."

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