More than 20 illegal puppy farms uncovered by ISPCA this year

Over 620 dogs were surrendered to or seized by ISPCA animal welfare inspectors in 2021, with over 300 coming from illegal dog breeders
More than 20 illegal puppy farms uncovered by ISPCA this year

More than 20 illegal puppy farms have been uncovered by the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) so far this year, with hundreds of dogs and puppies rescued.

Over 620 dogs were surrendered to or seized by ISPCA animal welfare inspectors in 2021, with over 300 coming from illegal dog breeders.

The national animal welfare charity has nine authorised officers covering 16 counties, who investigate complaints of cruelty, neglect and abuse to animals.

In a recent case, inspectors uncovered 21 dogs and puppies at an abandoned property, including labradoodles, shih-tzus, jack russell terriers, yorkshire terries and chihuahuas.

Although “terrified” when rescued, the dogs were treated and cared for by the ISPCA, making full recoveries. They have since been rehomed with loving families.

Over 620 dogs were surrendered to or seized by ISPCA animal welfare inspectors in 2021, with over 300 coming from illegal dog breeders. Photo: ISPCA.

“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 Conor Dowling, chief inspector with the ISPCA.

“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.”

Mr Dowling recalled dogs with “matted coats from lying in their own excrement”, suffering from painful skin infections and open sores.

“Unfortunately there are many areas in Ireland that ISPCA inspectors are currently unable to reach. We are having a huge impact but we could [do] so much more if we had more resources,” he added.

Over 620 dogs were surrendered to or seized by ISPCA animal welfare inspectors in 2021, with over 300 coming from illegal dog breeders. Photo: ISPCA.

Over 620 dogs were surrendered to or seized by ISPCA animal welfare inspectors in 2021, with over 300 coming from illegal dog breeders. Photo: ISPCA.

With the majority of its funding received from the public, the ISPCA is appealing for donations at https://www.ispca.ie/donate/once_off.

You can also adopt an animal in ISPCA care, become a volunteer or report animal cruelty in confidence by calling the charity's national helpline 0818 515 515, emailing helpline@ispca.ie or reporting online on www.ispca.ie.

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