TWEED Shire Pound is overloaded with unwanted dogs and cats who desperately need new homes.
Friends of the Pound Tweed Inc president Susie Hearder said it was heartbreaking to see so many pets left at the pound at this time of year.
Ms Hearder said the pound had about 24 dogs and 20 cats, with more than half of these surrendered by owners.
"At this time of year people want to go on holidays or just realise how much work is involved in owning a pet and hand them in," she said.
"We have an overload at the moment because people aren't coming to get pets from the pound.
"And they are held for one week, two weeks if microchipped, and then kept there for sale for three to four weeks."
Ms Hearder said when Friends of the Pound had foster carers available they paid the costs of desexing and microchipping for dogs who were due to be euthanased at the pound and put them in care until a home can be found.
"At the moment we have the same amount of dogs in foster care as are in the pound," she said.
"Too many people really don't put a lot of thought into the commitment involved when buying a pet - it's a long-term commitment for about 15 years and your lifestyle and financial situation need to be taken into account," she said.
"If everyone microchipped and desexed their pets the problem of pets in the pound would be lessened.
"It's also important for pet owners to update the microchip database when they change address or phone number."
Ms Hearder said Friends of the Pound was in need of volunteers and foster carers and can be contacted on 02 6679 3190 or 07 55 99 4389.
Tweed Shire Pound has plans for extension due to be completed mid-year which will include 10 more kennels, an office and more runs. The pound is open daily from 10am to 4.30pm (DST).