Our 'Nicer to Neuter' campaign
In a bid to help reduce the volume of abandoned dogs and puppies in Ireland, we have launched our annual ‘Nicer to Neuter’ campaign, aimed at encouraging members of the public to neuter their dogs.
Recent research carried out on our behalf shows 18% of dog owners surveyed haven’t neutered their dog and while this is an improvement of 6% compared to 2018, we cared for 340 puppies from unplanned pregnancies last year.
We are keen to highlight the benefits of neutering such as long-term savings for dog owners and the health benefits for dogs. Neutering also helps to prevent unplanned and unwanted litters being born, which puts extra pressure on animal welfare organisations.
As well as the associated health and financial benefits, neutering may also influence a dog’s behaviour in a positive way. Neutering might also be helpful with training, as neutered dogs are potentially less distracted by other dogs. This can be useful for owners when training their dogs, helping them to be more focused and well behaved, especially when out in public. For this reason, neutering is also likely to be beneficial for working dogs, limiting distractibility when set to task.
We have released a short video highlighting the story of Cher, a pregnant terrier cross who was found straying, alone, pregnant and abandoned on a cold day in December. Thankfully Cher was brought to Dogs Trust and subsequently gave birth to 11 puppies, a big ordeal, especially for a dog her size and sadly, one didn’t make it. However, Cher is one of the lucky ones and was able to give birth in a warm environment and is now surrounded by Puppy Carers in the our dedicated Puppy Wing which can care for up to 500 puppies each year.
We are keen to highlight to owners of unneutered dogs that under the new regulations, which came into effect on February 1st of this year, the owner of any dog who has a litter of six or more puppies must register with the Department of Agriculture if they sell or even give the puppies away.
Speaking about the campaign, Becky Bristow, Executive Director, Dogs Trust Ireland said: “The 340 puppies we took care of last year in our Rehoming Centre are sadly the tip of the iceberg. Although we are Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, there are so many other organisations who have also taken in litters of puppies, highlighting the importance of neutering your dog to help prevent the cycle of abandoned dogs in Ireland.”
Campaigns Manager, Deborah Martin continued: “Pregnancy is not the only issue to consider when thinking about why you should neuter your dog. The risk of certain cancers can be removed or reduced. There are many other potentially life-threatening health risks that can occur in unneutered dogs. For example, in female dogs the risk of pyometra, a bacterial infection of the womb, is more likely to occur the older your dog gets but can be completely eradicated by neutering.”
We always recommend that you discuss any concerns you have about neutering with your veterinary practitioner.
Remember, it's Nicer to Neuter!