The Blue Cross has revealed that it has had over 200 'handbag dogs' bought into its centres so far this year, with one unable to walk on a dog collar and lead because it had been carried around instead of being allowed to walk itself.
That is according to the Daily Telegraph, which revealed that the number of these dogs being left at centres has tripled since 2006.
Emma Otto, welfare assistant at the Blue Cross adoption centre in Southampton, told the news provider: "People see movie stars holding dogs and they want one at home.
"But small dogs need to run around, socialise and be treated like dogs - not sit in a handbag. When the owners get bored and the animals are sent here, a lot can’t even walk."
Earlier this year, Ryan Neile, an animal behaviourist at The Blue Cross, explained that many people assume that small dogs need less exercise and mental stimulation than larger breeds.
However, he added that this is not true and said these dogs should not be denied the opportunity to behave like a dog on the ground.