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Dublin: 1 °C Saturday 18 January, 2020
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New puppy centre built to deal with Ireland's abandoned dog crisis

Dogs Trust received the money to build the centre from a woman who left €10m in her will.

Maia Dunphy with two Dogs Trust puppies
Maia Dunphy with two Dogs Trust puppies
Image: Fran Veale

EVERY YEAR, 90,000 puppies are bred in Ireland. The number is so high that the country has become known as the ‘puppy farm capital of Europe’, and centres like Dogs Trust are left dealing with the resulting abandoned dogs.

Kathrina Bentley of Dogs Trust said they have a litany of stories that illustrate the issues facing Ireland’s canines.

Today, Dogs Trust announced the news that they will open a dedicated puppy centre this year at their flagship Dublin Rehoming Centre – and it’s financially possible thanks to one generous woman.

Mark Beazley, Executive Director of Dogs Trust explained more about why the centre had to be built:

Whilst there has been a decrease in levels of destruction in Irish pounds and significant improvements in animal welfare legislation and enforcement, unscrupulous puppy farming remains an unacceptable reality today – we just had to do something.

Under construction

The €1.5m to build the centre was gifted by Dogs Trust UK, and the money came from a woman who left £7.5m to Dogs Trust UK a number of years ago. All of that money went to the Irish Dogs Trust.

The centre is currently under construction, and when it’s opened it will create seven new jobs. It’s expected that it will be open in late May or early June. Fundraising will soon begin to raise the funds to keep the puppy centre open on a full-time basis.

According to Bentley, they are seeing many abandoned dogs whose owners wanted to sell them online.

In particular in the last couple of months what we’ve witnessed is boxes of puppies coming in over the counter. The people say ‘oh, I bred them for a website for Christmas and they didn’t sell’.

One woman asked them to call out to her house, where she had locked newborn puppies in her garden shed.

Again, they had been bred for sale online but not sold.

image

Pic: Fran Veale

“People are still clicking on those various websites, to instantly demand a puppy and pay €500 or €600 for them. There is no support, no follow up,” said Bentley, pointing out that rescued dogs from Dogs Trust are vaccinated, neutered, and there is follow-up support for new owners.

“We have still a lot of work to do with regard to educating people in terms of online [selling],” said Bentley.

There has been no decrease in terms of the number of puppies surrendered in the last five years.

She described the situation as a crisis. “We couldn’t sit back any longer and had to do something,” said Bentley. This led to the puppy centre proposal being brought to the UK Dogs Trust.

Inside the centre will be a maternity unit, a whelping unit for new mums; nurses and veterinarians; an isolation unit; puppy carers; and surrogate parents for newborn puppies.

The new puppy wing will be home to six mothers, their puppies and up to an additional 30 puppies at any one time.

Dogs Trust are asking the public to support this new extension. Donations can be given through the  website or directly at the centre in Finglas.

Read: “They don’t know what daylight is”: Rescuing hens to give them a new life>

Read: Abused dog’s new owner writes touching open letter to person who hurt her>

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