09 Aug 2022

Longford people asked to not support puppy farmers by buying a puppy for Christmas

Longford people asked to not support puppy farmers by buying a puppy for Christmas

Don’t support puppy farmers by buying a puppy for Christmas says the ISPCA.

The ISPCA has issued a warning to people considering buying a puppy to be aware of unscrupulous puppy breeders cashing in on the Christmas market.

In the run up to festive season, this is the busiest time for rogue breeders advertising puppies for sale and buyers need to beware and understand where these puppies are originating from.  Many puppies are bred in appalling conditions, are not vaccinated or microchipped and may be in need of veterinary care.

The ISPCA is asking the public not to purchase a puppy and help put an end to the puppy demand.  By deciding to adopt after the festive season you will reduce the risk of becoming the latest victim of this cruel trade. Buying a sick puppy is a heart breaking experience for any family to endure, especially at Christmas.

The ISPCA have saved hundreds of puppies from deplorable conditions from rogue puppy breeders.    Sometimes mom has no access to day light, has inappropriate bedding and is cooped up in a small kennel or breeding cage. In the worst cases there is limited food or access to clean drinking water with minimal human interaction or veterinary care. They arrive at our Centres terrified, often huddled together silently. After extensive veterinary treatment and rehabilitation, the ISPCA find loving homes for these puppies where they will receive the love and kindness they deserve.

ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly said; “The ISPCA is working hard to tackle and expose the problem of puppy breeding in Ireland but it is big business and we need the public’s help to reduce the demand.  Large numbers of puppies are bred in Ireland, taken far too early from their mothers to be sold in Ireland or shipped illegally to the UK where they will be sold to unsuspecting families purely for profit with no regard for their welfare.  Many of these puppies have had a very unpleasant start in life, sold to people who believe they are purchasing a healthy and happy puppy. Unfortunately they may have purchased a sick puppy, sometimes diagnosed with the contagious and often fatal parvovirus.  This is a heart wrenching experience for many families who have already bonded with their new pet. Please do not support puppy farmers this Christmas – wait until the festive period is over and adopt a dog from the ISPCA or your local animal rescue organisation."

Broadcaster, Journalist and ISPCA supporter Charlie Bird added: “Please don’t be hoodwinked or fooled by rogue breeders like my wife and I were. We decided to buy a puppy from a breeder in Cork whose website seemed great. We visited the sellers at their house in Cork and were led to believe that they had reared the puppies in their house. We asked all the right questions. We asked to see the father of the puppies and were told that he had tragically been run over. This was not true. We were horrified to find out that it was in fact a large scale puppy farm with almost 100 breeding females.  Please follow the ISPCA’s advice and always ask to see both parents of the puppy and always to go the place where they are bred.  If the puppy is coming from a kennel, make sure you see it.  Also ask the breeder how many females they are breeding from. If in doubt at any point, just walk away. By deciding to adopt a puppy instead, you will be helping make all the difference and helping to put the unscrupulous puppy farmers out of business, adopt a dog, don’t be sold a pup."

Don’t buy a puppy for Christmas – adopt a dog after the festive season is over.

The ISPCA recommends waiting until after the festive season when introducing a new pet in the home.  Adopt a dog from the ISPCA, a local rescue centre or your local dog pound. Researching the right pet for your family is very important as is ensuring you have adequate time and financial resources to care for your new pet responsibly. Pets adopted from the ISPCA will be health-checked, vaccinated, neutered/spayed, parasite treated and also microchipped.

Pets never make good Christmas gifts and should never be bought on a whim or given as a surprise.

How you can help:

·         Don’t buy a puppy from unscrupulous breeders fuelling demand – do your research!

·         Always try to adopt from the ISPCA, your local rescue or dog pound

·         Report suspicious activity online at complaint

·         Check if the seller is a registered commercial breeder and check the Local Authority Registration details.

·         Reputable breeders do not advertise puppies for sale through online websites, pet shops, newspaper adverts or meet at petrol stations, car parks or at the side of a road.

·         Check online websites have signed up to the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (IPAAG) Minimum Standards on

·         Always ask to see both parents of the puppy interacting with the litter. If not, ask why. 

·         Responsible breeders will want to do a home check and ask you important questions about your lifestyle in order to ensure you are a suitable owner for their puppy.

·         Ask to see where mom, dad and puppies are living. 

·         If you are concerned by excuses made why mum and dad are not there, don’t buy a puppy out of guilt.  If you suspect the puppies have come from a puppy farm, don’t add to the puppy demand by buying one.

·         Are there are other dogs hidden from sight in nearby sheds or can you hear loud music playing to drown out the barking noise. 

·         Is there a lot of traffic coming and going from the property and is there someone actually living there.

·         Ask to see the puppies veterinary records for vaccinations and parasite treatments,  microchipping certificate etc

·         Ensure you obtain a proper receipt.

·         Be cautious of large numbers of puppies for sale online using same adverts/phone numbers.

Is there different puppies frequently being brought in and out of a particular house or location?
Look out for sounds of dogs barking or whining from seemingly unoccupied houses where there are suspicious amounts of regular visitors.

As a charitable organisation, the ISPCA relies on public support for approximately 90% of our funds which we receive through donations enabling us to continue our vital work rescuing animals that need our help and rehabilitation costs are expensive. If you can this Christmas, please make a donation to support our work on

Remember if you suspect an animal is being cruelly treated, neglected or abused, or if you see something suspicious, please contact the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 1890 515 515 or report online on suspect_animal_cruelty/. In case of an emergency, please contact your local Gardaí.

The ISPCA is calling for:

·         A review of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act and its associated Guidelines

·         All dog breeders to be registered and licensed, not just those who have more than five breeding females as is required under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act

·         Robust enforcement of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act by Local Authorities

·         Significant penalties to be imposed on those breeders found to be breaking the law to act as a deterrent to others

·         Consistent legislation on dog breeding across all EU Member States

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.