Dog shelter suspends adoptions before Christmas, warning “a dog is not a gift”

In a post uploaded to their Facebook page, the Białystok animal shelter “Dolina Dolistόwki” said it would be suspending the adoption of puppies up to six months old from the 1st of December until the 7th of January 2023. Wolontariat- Schronisko dla Zwierząt w Białymstoku/Facebook

An animal shelter in Białystok has put a stop to the adoption of puppies at its centre to prevent ‘thoughtless adoption’ during the Christmas period.

In a post uploaded to their Facebook page, the Białystok animal shelter “Dolina Dolistόwki” said it would be suspending the adoption of puppies up to six months old from the 1st of December until the 7th of January 2023.

It added: “It’s December, St Nicholas’s Day, the upcoming Christmas holidays, many occasions to give presents.

Posting a photo of a sad-looking dog with the caption ‘I am not a present I am a friend,’ the dog shelter wrote: “Please remember that an animals IS NOT A PRESENT. Don’t adopt or buy animals as a Christmas present.”Wolontariat- Schronisko dla Zwierząt w Białymstoku/Facebook

“But please remember, that an animal IS NOT A PRESENT. We appeal to you to exercise reason in this regard.

“Don’t adopt or buy animals as a Christmas present.

“A dog is a friend, not a present.”

Another post on the shelter’s Facebook page showed the shelter trying to actively encourage the adoption of older dogs, for which the winter was a particularly difficult time.Wolontariat- Schronisko dla Zwierząt w Białymstoku/Facebook

The shelter’s actions are part of an annual campaign by animal shelters around Poland to raise awareness of impulsive adoption and purchase of animals, especially puppies, in the run up to Christmas.

Speaking to the Polish Press Agency about the initiative “A Dog is a friend, not a Present”, Anna Jaroszewicz, manager of the Białystok shelter, which currently looks after over 120 dogs, said that being part of the initiative was “a very clear signal, and a voice from every institution caring for unwanted, abandoned animals, that they are opposed to the objectified treatment of animals”.

Another post on the shelter’s Facebook page showed the shelter trying to actively encourage the adoption of older dogs, for which the winter was a particularly difficult time.

The shelter’s actions are part of an annual campaign by animal shelters around Poland to raise awareness of impulsive adoption and purchase of animals, especially puppies, in the run up to Christmas.Wolontariat- Schronisko dla Zwierząt w Białymstoku/Facebook

Titling their post “Dog Seniors”, the shelter wrote: “We have certain dogs at our shelter, who, when we walk by their pens, we ask ourselves, why has the world forgotten about them?...We are talking about our Dog Seniors…With our slogan ‘Its Dog Senior Time’, we want to draw attention to older dogs.

“For them the winter season is the hardest. Straw in outdoor pens, cloths and extra blankets are all for nothing when what they need is a warm home and the hot heart of a human to who they can show love for the rest of their doggy days.”


Titling another post “Dog Seniors”, the shelter wrote: “We have certain dogs at our shelter, who, when we walk by their pens, we ask ourselves, why has the world forgotten about them?...We are talking about our Dog Seniors…With our slogan ‘Its Dog Senior Time’, we want to draw attention to older dogs.

Quoting one of the shelter’s volunteers, the post continued: “Animal elders are the loveliest, sweetest and least problematic creatures in the world…no youngster can live up to them.”

The Białystok shelter currently has 17 dogs over the age of 10, of which the oldest are Promil and Frank, both of which are 13 years old.

Their longest resident is 11-year-old Nora, who has been at the shelter since she was a puppy.