An animal welfare charity is urging people to neuter their pets after a dog was found trying to feed her pups while tied to a fence.
The lurcher dog, believed to be two years old, and her six newborn puppies were discovered chained to a gate in a field near Elphin, Co. Roscommon by a member of the public. The person alerted the gardaí and the ISPCA.
The dog and pups were brought to the ISPCA National Animal Centre in Longford for urgent veterinary assessment. While they were cold and hungry, they do not appear to have any health issues. They are being closely monitored in ISPCA care.
It is unclear how long they had been left in the field.
"Leaving a young dog only two years old tied up without water, food or shelter most definitely put her along with her young puppies’ lives at risk," said ISPCA Centre Manager Hugh O’Toole. "We are urging pet owners to spay or neuter their pets as early as possible to reduce the high number of unwanted animals."
"I don’t understand how anyone can think it is okay to leave a dog tied to a gate to nurse her puppies. With the recent level of rainfall and cold weather this week, the outcome could have been very different and I’m happy we were alerted so we could help them."
The dog has been named Emmy Lou and her little puppies are named Billy Ray, Dixie, Dolly, Dotty, June and Patsy. They will remain in ISPCA care until the New Year until they are old enough to be rehomed.
"The dog was scanned to trace her owner but unfortunately she was not microchipped which, is a legal requirement," Mr O'Toole added.
Anybody with any information is asked to contact the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 1890 515 515 or report online here
The ISPCA is urging pet owners to consider neutering or spaying their pets to prevent accidental litters of puppies or kittens.