“A dog is for life,” – that is the key message Dogs Trust Ireland wishes to convey to the public this Christmas.
Its appeal comes following what the body reports to be a “high” number of surrender requests this year.
The charity urges people to think about the lifelong commitment and responsibility that comes with owning a dog.
It advises the public to wait until after Christmas to consider taking on a new addition to the family.
According to Dogs Trust Ireland, it received over 2,155 requests this year from members of the public asking the body to take in their dogs in for rehoming.
This figure represents an 82% increase on 2020 when dogs were in “huge demand”.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Dogs Trust Ireland said:
“The most common reason provided for people wanting to relinquish their dog was due to behavioural issues.”
“We are particularly concerned where dogs are being sourced with the prevalence of puppy farming in Ireland, particularly since the beginning of the pandemic when the demand for dogs saw prices soar into the thousands for puppies being sold online.”
End puppy farming
Ciara Byrne, head of communications at Dogs Trust Ireland, explained:
“We are pleading with the public not to purchase puppies in the run-up to Christmas.”
“Sadly, this is the most lucrative time of year for puppy farmers. We know genuine dog lovers don’t want to fuel this vile trade.”
“It’s not just the puppy that you buy that’s affected; it’s the parents of the puppies that are left behind in often appalling conditions that suffer the most. That is why we launched our End Puppy Farming campaign in November.”
“We want to show that the public wants to see an end to the horrors these poor dogs endure daily, all in the name of profit.”
Becky Bristow, executive director at Dogs Trust Ireland, continued:
“We understand that not every family is in a position to adopt a dog or puppy and we also understand there are reputable dog breeders.”
“However, due to the nature of the puppy farming industry, it is extremely difficult to buy a puppy responsibly at present.”
“Advertisements of cute puppies online in home environments are often a smokescreen. The same photos are often used repeatedly. If you are considering getting a dog, please visit our website for advice.”
Sponsor a dog
Over 1,000 abandoned dogs come into the charity’s care on an annual basis, and there are “thousands more we cannot possibly take in”.
The spokesperson continued: “People are still taking on the responsibility of dog ownership without enough consideration of what it really entails.”
“Instead of buying a puppy this Christmas, you can sponsor a dog instead. You can save lives and give abandoned Irish dogs a second chance of life that they deserve so much.”