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heartbreaking ‘Trembling, terrified’ puppies found abandoned on side of road just days after Christmas

"An animal is not a toy; it is a lifetime commitment and doesn’t come with a return policy."


Puppies were abandoned on the side of the road in Armagh just days after Christmas.

Five German Shepherd pups were found trembling and terrified after being left to fend for themselves.

The litter of six-week-old puppies were found by a passerby at a gateway on the side of a South Armagh country road before being turned over to USPCA, an animal welfare charity in Northern Ireland.

“We are dismayed that despite numerous pleas to the public regarding responsible pet ownership,” Colleen Tinnelly, USPCA Development Manager, said.

“We are still seeing defenceless young animals being abandoned by a busy and dangerous roadside, only days after Christmas.”

Colleen said that the puppies are undergoing treatment, and one is in a critical condition.

“We don’t know how long they were left outside exposed to the wet and windy weather conditions, but we are very grateful to the member of the public for rescuing them from a dire situation.”

“We really hope all puppies will be able to make a full recovery, but it is still very early to say.”

It comes as pet charities across the country made an appeal to people not to buy dogs as Christmas presents.


“We urge the public to think long and hard about their pets – are they neutered? Are you capable of looking after an unexpected litter? If not, we remind them to think as a responsible owner and have their pets neutered,” Colleen continued.

“There is absolutely no excuse for leaving young animals to suffer because you haven’t made this conscious decision.”

The Charity has also taken a higher level of calls from members of the public wanting to give up their pet.

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While many animal shelters are at full capacity as many have surrendered pets adopted during lockdown, there have been many more reports of abandoned pets this Christmas.

“Unfortunately, in the months after Christmas we do brace ourselves for an increase in unwanted animals and we try to accommodate as many as we can.”

“Never have we seen cases like this so quick on the back of Christmas – we’re shocked and very disappointed that it continues to happen.”

“Our advice on responsible pet ownership is clear - an animal is not a toy; it is a lifetime commitment and doesn’t come with a return policy.”

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