Over 170 dogs were destroyed in Irish pounds last year, in a 57 per cent decrease labelled a “2020 anomaly” by dog welfare charity Dogs Trust.
The latest Dog Control Statistics from 2020 released today by the Department of Rural and Community Development show that 171 dogs were destroyed in Irish pounds in 2020, with this number not including greyhounds as they are recorded separately.
The figures also show 5,267 dogs entered the pound system during 2020, a 43 per cent reduction on 2019 figures.
Dogs Trust welcomed the lower figures but warned 2020 was a “very unique year” as the pandemic caused an “unprecedented demand” for dogs.
The charity has said surrender requests have already surged 212 per cent over the last three months, as life begins to return to normal in Ireland post-lockdown.
Becky Bristow, executive director at Dogs Trust Ireland said: “2020 was an anomaly, given it saw the biggest demand we have ever seen for dogs in this country.
“We must take that, and the fact that some dog pounds had to close at certain points of the various lockdowns, into consideration when looking at this year’s Control of Dogs Statistics.
“Given that 1,468 dog owners still surrendered their dog to pounds, we are keen to establish the reasons for this and urge local authorities to record the reasons provided.
“We are reminding people that we are here to help if you are struggling with your dog and we recently launched our Bark to Basics campaign offering dog owners free practical advice to help keep as many dogs as possible happy in their homes, post-lockdown.”
Dogs Trust works to rehabilitate and re-home stray and abandoned dogs from local authority pounds across Ireland, with 232 dogs currently in its care. The charity has a non-destruction policy and never destroys a healthy dog.
If you are considering adopting a dog, you can visit www.DogsTrust.ie/Rehoming for more information.