The charity removed hundreds of vulnerable dogs and puppies from unscrupulous breeders.
Inspectors seized over 300 dogs and puppies from illegal dog breeders in 2021.
“Many dogs and puppies we rescued were living in the most horrific conditions you could imagine, often caged with little to no room to move or escape from their own faeces and urine,” said ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling.
“Seldom there is clean drinking water, adequate food or bedding and often they are kept in darkness with no access to fresh air or daylight. Such cruelty and neglect causes serious health, psychological and behavioural issues.
“Fear and lack of socialisation means they will need to stay in ISPCA care for longer periods of time before they can be responsibly rehomed with loving families.
“The people who run illegal dog breeding establishments only care about one thing, and that’s money,” Conor said, adding: “there is no thought for the welfare of these vulnerable dogs used over and over again for breeding to produce money making litters puppies.”
In one recent case, ISPCA Inspectors uncovered 21 dogs and puppies at an abandoned property. There was a mix of mostly small breeds including Labradoodles, Shih-Tzus, Jack Russell Terriers, Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahuas.
They were terrified when rescued but after spending some time in ISPCA care, they were treated and cared for, making full recoveries and have since been rehomed with loving families.
“Some of the dogs we rescue will have matted coats from lying in their own excrement and will be suffering from painful skin infections and open sores," Inspector Conor Dowling said. "Overgrown nails lead to infections and the lack of grooming for some breeds can cause pain.”
Inspector Dowling explained that the effect on dogs is not just physical, but also psychological. Trauma can often result in behaviour issues.
“Our animal carers spend considerable time trying to undo this damage.”
“Unfortunately there are many areas in Ireland that ISPCA Inspectors are currently unable to reach. We are having a huge impact but we could so much more if we had more resources.”