Dog owners are being urged to take regular pictures of their pets by a warden in Meath where dog numbers in the pound have slumped by 43% since last year.
Alan Nolan is encouraging owners to take a lot of photographs of their dogs as a way of identifying them or alerting the public if they are lost or stolen.
Meath Dog Pound has only two dogs to be rehomed at present and the number of dogs at the pound, so far this year, are 112 compared to 197 for the same period last year - a fall of 85
However, Mr Nolan believes that the drop in numbers at the pound is down to more people still at home during the current Covid-19 climate and not because of dog thefts.
Mr Nolan said: "We have only two dogs at the pound this week, which is amazing. We have to wait for five days now for an owner to claim them before we try to rehome them ourselves.
"The numbers of dogs at the pound have decreased by 85 since this time last year. Up until now in 2020, we have seen 112 dogs and last year, the number was 197 for the same period.
"Thankfully most have strayed from home so the owners are quick to pick them up and we rehome the rest - we only had to put three to sleep last year."
Mr Nolan also said Covid-19 had an impact on the number of dogs in the pound.
"The three who were put to sleep were out of a total of 344 dogs for the whole year and unfortunately were not fit for rehoming due to aggression or serious medical conditions that could not be treated due to prior negligence by previous owners.
"I think the numbers have dropped because people have been at home and most are still at home due to Covid-19, so they are more mindful on where their dog is.
"Often, if they are at work, the dog just goes missing and ends up with us. Many dogs that go wandering for a day do turn up.
"Again I'd just say to people to make sure their dog is micro-chipped and take loads of pictures of your dog. Take a picture before and after grooming and from all angles. Every picture helps to identify a dog and also to be able to spread around vets and pounds so we know to look out for the dog.
"Proof of ownership is also very important to reclaim your dog and one of the best forms is an up-to-date dog licence.
"It's terrific that we only have two dogs in the pound - and have had two different dogs last week - but it's still two dogs too many for us."