The ISPCA has uncovered 20 illegal puppy farms so far this year.
ISPCA animal welfare inspectors successfully removed hundreds of vulnerable dogs and puppies from “unscrupulous” breeders.
Inspectors have seized or surrendered over 620 dogs in 2021, over 300 of which have come from illegal dog breeders.
Illegal puppy farms
ISPCA chief inspector, Conor Dowling, said:
“Many dogs and puppies we rescued were living in the most horrific conditions you could imagine, often caged with little to no room to move or escape from their own faeces and urine.”
“Seldom there is clean drinking water, adequate food or bedding and often they are kept in darkness with no access to fresh air or daylight.”
He stressed that such cruelty and neglect causes serious health, psychological and behavioural issues.
Furthermore, fear and lack of socialisation mean they will need to stay in ISPCA care for longer periods before being responsibly rehomed with families.
“The people who run illegal dog breeding establishments only care about one thing, and that’s money.”
“There is no thought for the welfare of these vulnerable dogs used over and over again for breeding to produce money-making litters puppies.”
“Some of the dogs we rescue will have matted coats from lying in their own excrement and will be suffering from painful skin infections and open sores.”
He added that overgrown nails lead to infections, and the lack of grooming for some breeds can cause pain.
Also, many dogs will be suffering from psychological trauma resulting in behavioural issues. As a result, the charity’s animal carers spend “considerable time trying to undo this damage”.
“Unfortunately, there are many areas in Ireland that ISPCA Inspectors are currently unable to reach. We have a huge impact, but we could do so much more if we had more resources.”
The ISPCA has nine authorised officers covering 16 counties investigating complaints of cruelty, neglect and abuse to animals. Under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA), it has legal power.