The Dogs Trust in Bridgend says over 600 dogs arrived at the centre last year - a record high.
Staff believe the struggling economy has played a part, but added many people simply don't realise the time and money needed to care properly for a pet.
They have urged would-be owners to think long and hard before committing to a dog.
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The last official day of winter seems determined to go out with a bang! It's a cold and frosty start with snow on the hills.
A wintry night ahead with ice on the roads and settling snow over the hills and mountains.