One third of rehomed dogs are ‘pedigree’, DSPCA says

Animal welfare charity warns of illicit traders selling puppies online for Christmas

File photograph from DSPCA centre in Rathfarnham, Dublin. The organisation rehomed 1,600 animals in he past year.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

File photograph from DSPCA centre in Rathfarnham, Dublin. The organisation rehomed 1,600 animals in he past year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

 

More than a third of dogs rehomed by the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) in the past year were pedigree, figures released today show.

The animal welfare charity said the number of pedigree pets it has taken into care are at an “all-time high”.

There was a “substantial increase” in these pets due to the downturn as owners emigrate or no longer want to pay for their upkeep, chief executive Brian Gillen said.

The organisation today launched its pre-Christmas campaign urging the public to adopt a pet, rather than buy.

It raised concern about the increase in illicit traders offering puppies for Christmas online.

There was a “very worrying increase in pets purchased on the internet, said Mr Gillen. “We estimate that on any given day there are in excess of 10,000 dogs and puppies for sale online.”

Advertisements at this time of year for puppies “ready for Christmas” meant that the animals were “purposely bred” for the Christmas market, he said.

He warned that even reputable websites have “unscrupulous dealers with puppies bred to order in the most appalling conditions, often inbred and susceptible to illnesses and disease that only become apparent in the weeks after the purchase”.

The only way to prevent such sales were for “people to stop purchasing online”, he said.

The organisation is urging people to adopt pets instead. It has rehomed 1,600 animals in the past year.

The dogs it takes into care are rehomed only when “ vets are satisfied that they are ready and have spent time in family environments as part of our fostering programme,” he said.

For more information on the DSPCA see dspca.ie