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Rescue centre ‘overwhelmed’

Animal rescue staff said they have been overwhelmed by the number of abandoned puppies handed in to them.

The Dog's Trust received 41 dogs at its shelter in Sadberge, Darlington, County Durham, in the run-up to Christmas. It said it is one of the highest numbers it has had to deal with and is concerned more will be handed in over the new year period.

The Trust said it comes despite its campaign to try to prevent unwanted animals by neutering dogs.

Graeme Blackburn, from the trust said: "It is unlikely for us to have this many at this time. We normally try and have low numbers at Christmas with puppies, we don't have that many people who are trying to find homes for them. This year we have had quite a lot handed in to us just before Christmas which is quite unusual especially with the campaigns we have been doing trying to stop people having litters here, there and everywhere and we have tried to neuter as many dogs as possible to try to prevent it."

The charity is still trying to find homes for 30 of the puppies.