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no licence More than 60 dogs taken into care after raid on illegal puppy farm

A total of 44 breeding females, nine male dogs and six litters of pups, were found on the premises which had been operating without a licence.

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One of the dogs found with puppies in Co Offaly. Photo: ISPCA.

One of the dogs found with puppies in Co Offaly. Photo: ISPCA.

One of the dogs found with puppies in Co Offaly. Photo: ISPCA.

An illegal dog breeding establishment has been discovered in Co Offaly after a joint operation was conducted by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) and Offaly County Council.

A total of 44 breeding females, nine male dogs and six litters of pups were found on the premises which had been operating without a licence.

In addition to not being legally registered, the conditions on the property fell below the standards required under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act (DBEA) and its associated guidelines.

Sixty-two dogs and puppies were surrendered by the operator of the puppy farm and taken into the care of Offaly County Council and the ISPCA where they are currently being assessed.

Offaly County Council subsequently served a closure notice on the operator, which stated that the continued operation of the farm would pose a serious threat to the welfare and safety of the animals.

An ISPCA spokesperson said: “The dogs are receiving ongoing assessment and care.

“Some of the puppies are very young and will be in care for many weeks and won’t be available for rehoming for some time.”

A high demand for dogs during lockdown has driven puppy prices up by more than four or five times their usual value, leading to a surge in the illegal puppy trade.

Illegal breeders have been cashing in on the demand for pandemic puppies, with puppy farmers stepping in to fill the supply gap.

Despite the dangers involved, people are continuing to use social media sites to buy illegally bred puppies without any information about the animal’s background.

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The ISPCA thanked Offaly County Council for their co-operation in the case and urged the public to continue to report animal cruelty, neglect or abuse in confidence to the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or by email to helpline@ispca.ie.

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