Dogs Trust has launched a new campaign calling for harsher punishments for puppy farmers.
The charity says parent dogs endure “horrific misery” on puppy farms – and the people running them often get lenient penalties when they are caught.
In a statement, the charity said it recently spent over €61,000 on vet fees for 161 rescued dogs – the majority of which came from two specific puppy farms.
The owners of the farms were fined less than €2,000 each.
Puppy farms are a #LifeSentence of unspeakable misery for dogs, while those responsible often get a slap on the wrist fine. That’s why we are asking you, to join us and be a voice for the voiceless. Sign our petition today: https://t.co/j0imPl3vSG pic.twitter.com/jhlEpZJbSB
— Dogs Trust Ireland (@DogsTrust_IE) November 15, 2022
Dogs Trust spokesperson Ciara Murran said the charity is “particularly shocked” at the size of the fines compared to the vet costs.
“The numbers just don’t add up, especially when you consider what these unscrupulous individuals are charging unsuspecting members of the public for the puppies they are selling,” she said.
“We are urging people to support our campaign to show the public appetite for harsher punishment for puppy farmers, as the penalties being imposed at present are not a deterrent.”
As part of the new campaign, Dogs Trust has launched a new video demonstrating that puppy farming is a “life sentence” for many dogs – especially the mums left behind.
It is warning people that by buying that ‘cute’ puppy advertised online this Christmas, you may be unwittingly fuelling the trade that sentences the parent dogs to a life of misery.
Two puppy farm victims Dogs Trust recently cared for were six-year-old Poodle Mollie and four-year-old Cavalier King Charles Rudi.
Both dogs arrived into Dogs Trust suffering from appalling matting of their fur, with severely overgrown nails, dental disease and ear infections.
They were ‘absolutely terrified’ and tried to hide and avoid human contact whenever possible.
Despite being adopted to a loving home, it took four months until their adopters could touch them.
Pam King adopted them both.
“We are so proud of these two fabulous dogs for the courage they have shown in adapting to our home after the horrors they’ve experienced,” she said.
“I’ve had dogs all my life, including 14 rescue dogs from a wide variety of backgrounds but I have never witnessed the fear that they demonstrated when we first adopted them.”
Dogs Trust is warning the public that “puppy farming is a life sentence” and even if you are lucky enough to get a puppy free from behavioural and health issues, their mother is being left behind to endure horrific hardship.
Dogs Trust is urging the public to sign their petition at DogsTrust.ie/LifeSentence calling for tougher punishment for puppy farmers.
Main image shows four-year-old Cavalier King Charles Rudi who was cared for by Dogs Trust Ireland after being rescued from a puppy farm. Image: Fran Veale/Dogs Trust Ireland