In 2021, the charity received 2,155 requests from members of the public asking them to take in their dogs in for rehoming, an 82% increase on 2020
It comes as Dogs Trust had a high number of surrender requests this year.
They are urging people to think about the lifelong commitment and responsibility that comes with owning a dog and have advised to wait until after Christmas to consider taking on a new addition to the family.
In 2021, the charity received 2,155 requests from members of the public asking them to take in their dogs in for rehoming, an 82% increase on 2020 when dogs were in huge demand during Lockdown.
The most common reason provided to the charity for wanting to surrender their dog was due to “behavioural issues.”
The charity expressed concern that dogs are being sourced with the prevalence of puppy farming in Ireland, particularly since the beginning of the pandemic when the demand for dogs saw prices soar into the thousands for puppies being sold online.
Ciara Byrne Head of Communications at Dogs Trust Ireland explains: “We are pleading with the public not to purchase puppies in the run up to Christmas. Sadly, this is the most lucrative time of year for puppy farmers, and we know genuine dog lovers don’t want to fuel this vile trade.”
“It’s not just the puppy that you buy that’s affected, it’s the parents of the puppies that are left behind in often appalling conditions that suffer the most and that’s why we launched our End Puppy Farming campaign in November,”she said.
“We want to show that the public wants to see an end to the horrors these poor dogs endure daily, all in the name of profit.”
Becky Bristow Executive Director at Dogs Trust Ireland also backed the call while acknowledging not every family is in a position to adopt a dog or puppy.
“We understand there are reputable dog breeders.”
“However, due to the nature of the puppy farming industry it is extremely difficult to buy a puppy responsibly at present. Advertisements of cute puppies online in home environments are often a smokescreen and the same photos are often used repeatedly.”
“If you are considering getting a dog, please visit our website for advice.”
With over 1,000 abandoned dogs coming into the care of the charity on an annual basis and thousands more that they say they cannot possibly take in; they say that people are still taking on the responsibility of dog ownership without enough consideration of what it really entails.
Instead of buying a puppy this Christmas, the charity has urged people to sponsor a dog instead in a bid to save the lives of abandoned dogs and give them a second chance.