What’s Happening with Pandemic Puppies?

Louise Hickey

Lockdown was a lonely time. It was difficult not to lose hope. I was lucky to have Beau (my dog) by my side.

For many people getting a puppy was an appealing option. They were someone to isolate with and stop you from going insane! However, the future of these dogs was never considered.

The charity ‘Dogs Trust’ is Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity. They rescue and rehome dogs every year. According to a Dogs Trust representative, they have “no powers to collect stray dogs but surrendered dogs from people who are unable to look after them.”

In 2020 1,311 dogs were surrendered. In January-August of this year, there have already been 1,400 dogs surrendered. These figures exclude the surrendering of greyhounds which are recorded separately.

Dogs in Distress’ is another charity based in Dublin and surrounding areas. They rescue dogs and find them better homes.

“There needs to be consequences for actions,” said Marie Hannon, founder of Dogs in Distress. She thinks that interviews before dog adoptions should be compulsory. I agree that this is the only way to find out if owners have the responsibility to look after dogs.

Marie said “the microchipping policy is not being used appropriately at all”. Stolen and abandoned dogs can’t be traced. Marie described pounds as “disgraceful”, as no interviews are carried out for new owners. “Pounds only care about the financial aspect for dogs,” said Marie.

ISPCA Inspectors have uncovered twelve illegal puppy farms in the first six months of this year. The increase in puppy farms comes from people wanting the cutest puppy they can find, allowing the surge to continue. Dogs are not a toy or a trend.

The sales of dogs on ‘DoneDeal’ has been suspended to “improve animal welfare.” Throughout lockdown the sale of dogs have skyrocketed, with mixed breeds being sold on DoneDeal at anywhere from €500-1000.

Now pandemic puppies are left without owners, who have realised they don’t have time for a dog. Dogs are amazing, but they are hard work. Time is needed for training. They rely on you for everything, from food, water, exercise and leadership. They are not just there to look cute.

It should be compulsory to conduct interviews before buying dogs. If you are considering buying a dog, think of the responsibility first.

Don’t continue the surge of puppy farms… consider the amount in dog homes, waiting to be adopted and loved.

Louise Hickey

Image Credit: Alison Clair