Figures released by the Department of the Environment and Local Government show that in 2012, 500 dogs including greyhounds were seized, collected or surrendered in Longford. The dog statistics released by the Department noted that 335 dogs were seized, while 165 were surrendered or collected. Furthermore, in 2012, 82 of the dogs were put to sleep.
In 2011, 479 dogs including greyhounds were impounded, and 274 were put to sleep. While the percentage of dogs being put to sleep has fallen in the last number of years, it is still alarmingly high, with over a quarter of dogs impounded in 2012 being put to sleep.
Carmel Murray of the ISPCA says “Irresponsible dog ownership is a major animal welfare issue with far too many puppies being born when owners are not embracing concepts such as neutering and micro-chipping. If you are considering getting a dog, why not give a rescued or abandoned dog a second chance by adopting one from a rescue centre or dog pound near you and helping reduce the number of unwanted and abandoned dogs in Ireland.”
It’s not all negative, however. In 2012, 7,187 dogs were re-homed or reclaimed nationwide, 99 of those in Longford.
The ISPCA is working on ways to further decrease the amount of dogs being taken into pounds and also decrease the number of dogs being put to sleep. At present, the ISPCA together with Pedigree and Like Charity, are fronting the Pedigree Dog Adoption drive. This year’s Dog Adoption drive was launched on April 9th by Grainne Seoige and Bernard Dunne.
“Public awareness is key” says CEO of the ISPCA, Noel Griffin, continuing, “adherence to the regulations in place and dog adoptions are primary in continuing to drive the PTS [put to sleep] figures down.”
Longford County Council, who are responsible for impounding unwanted and stray animals in the county said the following; “Longford County Council Dog Wardens take in stray and unwanted dogs to the Dog Pound in response to complaints and requests for this public service. The Council’s policy is to re-home as many dogs, deemed suitable, as possible. The Council supports any national proposals on compulsory micro-chipping of dogs.
This will improve responsible animal ownership consistent with the Council’s message to children and the public in County Longford. Other aspects of responsible animal ownership are neutering of dogs to prevent unwanted litters of pups and effectual control of dogs at all times, and particularly at this time of year when ewes are lambing. It should also be noted that under the Control of Dogs Act 1986 every dog must have a dog licence which can be purchased at any post office and which costs €20.”