Box of 5-day-old puppies found abandoned as unwanted pets rise

Dogs Trust is appealing for support following influx of surrendered and abandoned dogs

A box of newborn puppies was among almost 500 requests for help with caring for unwanted pets to Dogs Trust since the beginning of the year, the charity has said.

According to the organisation, a "shocked" member of the public discovered the abandoned litter of four crossbreed puppies in his garden in Finglas, Dublin. He brought them to the charity's Dublin rehoming centre where the veterinary team established they were no more than five-days-old.

One of the litter, thought to be Pomeranian crossbreeds, has since died but the rest have been re-homed and are settling.

Dogs Trust is now appealing for public support following what it has described as an influx of surrendered and abandoned dogs.


“Puppies of this age are completely and utterly dependant on their mum. Their eyes and ears are closed and they’re unable to toilet themselves or regulate their body temperature, so they wouldn’t have survived much longer their own,” said Niamh Curran-Kelly, the charity’s veterinary and welfare manager.

“Thankfully, they got to us in time so we could give them the care they needed, including bottle feeding and toileting them every two hours. Sadly, the smallest of the litter passed away, despite veterinary intervention but unfortunately this is quite common with orphaned puppies.”

Due the sizeable influx this year, Dogs Trusts is asking the public to sponsor a dog or “puppy playgroup”.

Such incidents are not unusual. Last December, the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) said it had taken in a litter of abandoned six-week-old German Shepherd puppies found at the side of a road in Co Armagh. It was just one of several such instances of animal abandonment reported by the USPCA following the Christmas break.

"We are dismayed that despite numerous pleas to the public regarding responsible pet ownership, we are still seeing defenceless young animals being abandoned by a busy and dangerous roadside, only days after Christmas," Colleen Tinnelly, USPCA development manager, said at the time.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times