The Scottish SPCA is urging people in the north-east to be aware of the risks of buying a pet at Christmas.
The charity’s centres across Scotland stops rehoming baby animals over the festive period to avoid people taking a pet home as a Christmas gift.
Older animals may be rehomed by the SPCA between December 19 and January 3 at staff’s discretion.
In the past people have brought in an elderly dog, before picking up a new puppy, with the acting manager of the Aberdeen rescue centre adding “sadly this is more common than you would expect”.
Acting manager of the Aberdeen Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre, Louise Griese said: “Each year we care for unwanted animals that were given as gifts and the novelty has worn off.
“People should consider the commitment they are making when taking on any animal.
“Animals need attention, care and love which is a life-long obligation.
“Food, veterinary treatment and toys to provide mental stimulation can be very costly so there is also the financial commitment to think about with any pet.
“In the worst cases, unwanted pets can be abandoned. This is a criminal offence, and needless to say, extremely distressing for the animal.
“It’s not just young animals that come to us, older animals can be discarded to make way for new ones.
“People in the past have brought an elderly dog to us before going to pick up a new puppy and sadly this is more common than you would expect.
“But, we want to ensure this happy ending extends to the rest of the animal’s life, not just the weeks after.”
Anyone who would like advice on rehoming or caring for a pet should contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.