ANIMAL charity FOUR PAWS and celebrity vet PETE Wedderburn are asking the public to spare a thought for unloved puppies this Valentine’s Day.
Sadly many puppies sold online and through pet shops and newspaper adverts have been bred on puppy farms. These are best described as factory farms for dogs and produce vast numbers of puppies that are sold to the public, often with little regard for their welfare. Many breeding bitches will often spend their entire lives in poor living conditions.
Farming puppies for this trade often leads to animals becoming sick. Early separation from their mothers makes them prone to both behavioural and physical problems and sometimes the consequences are fatal.
Many reputable rescue centres are overflowing with puppies all desperately waiting for a home.Experienced staff are on hand to offer support and advice.
Many dogs are being trafficked out of Ireland specifically for the UK market, where poor breeding conditions would fail basic welfare tests. Many “farms” are infected with parasites and disease. In July 2012, Irish authorities announced tighter controls but some breeders are not complying with the new rules.
One of Ireland’s most loved celebrity vets, Pete Wedderburn, says: “I’m supporting FOUR PAWS’ call to have a heart for puppies this Valentine’s Day. People considering taking on a puppy should adopt and not buy a puppy. Adopting animals helps save lives as many reputable rescue centres are already full and sadly can’t help all the dogs in their area.
“If people choose to buy a puppy they may be contributing to the puppy trade where many animals are bred for profit often in poor welfare conditions.
“In particular, Ireland is renowned for being the ‘capital of puppy farming in Europe’. Many animals are shipped from Ireland to the UK and sold through unscrupulous pet shops, on the internet and in newspaper adverts. It’s a cruel trade and one which is growing fast.
“Please support us today to show love and compassion for puppies by spreading our message to ‘please don’t buy, adopt animals’.”