By Lynne Kelleher
More than four out of 10 (45%) Irish people don’t take any steps to ensure their dog hasn’t come from a puppy farm, according to a new study.
Ireland has been dubbed the puppy farm capital of Europe with thousands of puppies sold online every month.
Dogs Trust, Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, launched a poignant campaign yesterday entitled ‘How is that Doggie in the Window?’ to highlight the upsetting reality of puppies being born into horrendous conditions.
Three out of four people (74% of 1,000 surveyed) said they would be deterred from buying a dog from a puppy farm — but 39% of buyers didn’t visit their puppy’s birthplace before taking their pet home.
One in five (21%) of dog owners admitted their new canine was either delivered to their door or they bought it in a neutral location such as a car park.
Director of Dogs Trust, Suzie Carley, said her organisation regularly sees the aftermath of dogs and pups enduring harrowing conditions as a result of poor breeding practices: “Dogs Trust have cared for the most vulnerable dogs, including orphaned pups, nursing mums and pups, and heavily pregnant mums of various breeds following rescues, seizures, and closures of dog-breeding establishments in Ireland.
“We see, first-hand, the devastating consequences when puppies have not been given adequate care or socialisation in the first few months of their lives.”
Dogs Trust has created an attention-grabbing window display on Dublin’s South William St drawing on the children’s novelty song, ‘How Much is That Doggie in the Window’.
The display demonstrates the stark reality of the birthplaces of many puppies which are often overcrowded, cold, dark puppy farms.
As part of the campaign, Dogs Trust has sent out hundreds of Advent calendars to members of the public, TDs, and senators which feature 25 dogs that were recently rescued from an irresponsible breeder.
The charity is urging people looking to buy a dog to consider adoption first from rescue centres or dog pounds. It is also calling on the public to sign a petition calling on junior minister Sean Canney to urgently review the Dog Breeding Establishment (DBE) Act 2010.