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Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 14°C
ISPCA seize six Jack Russell puppies with docked tails
All of the six puppies have been deemed healthy and have been rehomed.

Jack russell dog and siz puppies with docked tails in ISPCA care Hans Smits / ISPCA This is Davey. Hans Smits / ISPCA / ISPCA

THE ISPCA HAS seized a Jack Russell dog and six puppies from an individual in Co Leitrim. 

The animal welfare organisation was responding to a call from a concerned member of the public.

Upon investigation, its inspector Karen Lyons discovered a dog and six tail-docked puppies living in unsuitable conditions. 

In the past, amputating animals’ tails was thought to be a harmless way to prevent them from catching diseases, but in Ireland it is illegal to do it without a professional, or for purely cosmetic reasons.

Someone who is not a veterinary surgeon cannot legally amputate dogs’ tails, or remove dew claws (known as a dog’s thumbs) since March 2014, and courts can issue fines to those who are caught doing so. 

Jack russell dogs and six puppies with docked tails in ISPCA car Hans Smits / ISPCA More pictures of the Jack Russell puppies seized. Hans Smits / ISPCA / ISPCA

Jack russell dog and six puppiies with docket tails in ISPCA car Hans Smits / ISPCA Hans Smits / ISPCA / ISPCA

The dog and six Jack Russell puppies were removed for veterinary examination and transported to the National Animal Centre where they have been cared for as investigations continue.

Inspector Karen Lyons said: “The removal of a puppy’s tail is not only illegal but it provides no benefit to a dog or puppy. It is just not acceptable to remove a puppy’s tail purely for cosmetic purposes. 

A dog’s tail also acts as a protective mechanism which they use to communicate with one another, to establish boundaries and to prevent aggressive encounters.
Amputating their tail weakens a dog’s ability to communicate properly, leaving them vulnerable to be misunderstood by other dogs and also humans which places them at a social disadvantage.

Jack russell dog and six puppies with docked tails in ISPCA care Hans Smits / ISPCA Lennon is this one in the front's name. Hans Smits / ISPCA / ISPCA

“Modern veterinary considers this to be a cruel and unnecessary mutilation so what may have been standard practice in the past, is now an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 and people need to respect this.”

The ISPCA said that if a new puppy’s tail has been docked, it is likely that it has been done illegally, and should be reported to the ISPCA’s National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515.

All of the six puppies have been deemed healthy and are already reserved to go to new homes.

If you are thinking of getting a dog or puppy, you can visit the ISPCA rehoming page here.

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