The charity, Dogs Trust, has said it has received 394 surrender requests since Christmas Day, which is a 33% increase in people wishing to give up their pet.

The most common reasons being provided by people are dogs exhibiting unwanted behaviours, owners not having enough time to spend with their dog and difficulties finding pet-friendly accommodation, with people having to move out from their rental accommodation due to properties being sold.

Many of the dogs themselves, especially those raised during the pandemic, require extra behavioural support and tend to be quite nervous, meaning they are spending longer in the care of Dogs Trust.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Corina Fitzsimons, PR and Communications Manager at Dogs Trust, said the charity is willing to work with people and support them, but does not have the facilities to take in the huge volume of dogs that are being surrendered.

She said it can offer training as well as online advertising of a pet for adoption, but at the moment is encouraging owners to keep pets in their home for as long as they can.

The charity is struggling particularly to find homes for medium to large sized dogs from labradors to mastiffs, and that these dogs have specific needs such as going to homes with no small children, and being cared for by someone who is at home the majority of the day.

She added that a lot of dogs with behavioural issues need time to relax at home in a quieter area, and that an owner would need to allow the dog a few months to settle in.