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Garda Press Office
covid puppies

DSPCA urges people to 'adopt not shop' as Covid leads to drop in number of animals surrendered to shelters

The annual warning comes amid a backdrop of fewer cruelty cases and fewer surrenders of animals to the DSPCA.

THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC has been a “double-edged sword” for the DSPCA, which is reminding the Irish public to be wary of buying or adopting a dog at this time of the year. 

The annual warning comes amid a backdrop of fewer cruelty cases and fewer surrenders of animals to the DSPCA. 

The charity’s spokeswoman, Gillian Bird, said while she is “delighted” with the reduction in numbers, she is fearful that more people will decide to buy dogs for Christmas than go to a rescue centre.

“There are not as many dogs in our shelters as we would expect for this time of year. On one hand that’s great, but on the other, it means that there will be people who won’t go to a rescue centre and will buy instead. 

“Being humans we want things straight away. A lot of people are not patient and many rescue centres don’t have enough choice for them.”

Bird explained that unless you physically live next door to the breeder you are buying from, you will never know that all the rules have been followed and that the dog you are buying is healthy. 

“It’s easy for someone to take a puppy from a mass-produced farm and give it a wash and a nice floral bouquet and say ‘there’s your puppy’. The reality is most of them being sold are coming from people who are breeding for profit.”

The DSPCA continues to urge people to adopt and not shop for their new pets. The pandemic has resulted in what Bird described as waves of “Covid puppies” across the country – which she said she was delighted to see. 

But she is fearful that when the pandemic ends, the DSPCA might be inundated with requests to surrender dogs again. 

I hope it doesn’t happen. I really hope it doesn’t. Lockdown has been brilliant for dogs. People who might not have looked after their dogs properly are now embracing them. I just hope with the Covid puppies that enough time goes by that the dog will be an inseparable member of the family and will not be discarded.

The DSPCA has also urged those getting new pups to ensure their animals are microchipped. You can find more information here

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