Dogs Trust

Sign now to end puppy farming in Ireland.

38,849 dog lovers across Ireland have signed our petition to end puppy farming. Lets get to 40,000. Join them and sign today!

On Blue’s puppy farm, it was the silence that was deafening.

Too afraid to bark or make a noise, YOU can be her voice.


Born into dark and deafening silence.

Pups nuzzle into their mum’s filthy, matted coats for comfort from the cold, hard ground.

The stench of their cramped pens, overpowering.

And fear. Fear is all around. In pen, after pen, after pen after pen. As hundreds of petrified mums, like Blue, and her pups suffer silently.

Those who buy her puppies aren’t saving them.

They are unknowingly creating the demand for them – supporting greedy, unscrupulous breeders who only care about profit.

These illegal breeders make quick cash from cruelty and neglect as they force mums, like Blue, to churn out litter after litter in the most brutal of conditions.


But today, you can #EndPuppyFarming and create a different type of demand.

A demand for change. A demand to completely eradicate puppy farming in Ireland.

Puppies are not commodities. And mums, like Blue, are not machines.

They deserve a full and happy life, free from neglect, pain and fear.

By signing this petition, you are promising to be a voice for voiceless mums and pups. Adding yours to ours.

Together, we can do it. We can stop these horrific puppy farms and the illegal sale of dogs in Ireland. We can end the deafening silence once and for all.

Sign up today to #EndPuppyFarming in Ireland.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a puppy farm?

A puppy farm is where dogs are bred intensively for profit with little or no thought being given to their welfare.

Why are you running the #EndPuppyFarming campaign?

This year alone, we cared for 130 victims of puppy farming! The dogs suffered from matted coats, caked in their own excrement, overgrown nails, dental disease, ear infections, skin infections and were described by the charity’s veterinary and behaviour teams as ‘terrified’ of human contact. So bad was the condition of the dogs’ coats, many had to be shaved upon arrival.

This is why we need dog loving people like YOU to stand up with us!

Find out more HERE.

Do petitions work?

Yes, they do!

Last year, we launched our #SoldAPup petition, calling on the government to enforce the existing laws around the sale of pets as a matter of urgency.

Over 52,000 dog lovers like you signed the petition which we presented to Senator Lynn Boylan as a member of The Joint Committee on Agriculture and the Marine. This resulted in the Committee inviting our Executive Director, Becky Bristow to speak at the hearing to discuss the enforcement of The Sale, Supply & Advertising of Pets legislation.

Petitions are a vital tool in highlighting important issues, getting your voices heard, and rallying the policy makers.


What will you do with the petition signatures?

By adding your name to our #EndPuppyFarming petition, your voice is joining with ours and thousands of other dog lovers throughout Ireland. All united together by our promise to…

SPEAK UP for pups who have no voice of their own; demanding better legislation and enforcement to bring an end to the cruel puppy farming trade in Ireland.

STAND UP for mums used as breeding machines; locked away in horrendous conditions in dark, silent sheds across the country.

What better way for Dogs Trust to advocate for better legislation to protect these dogs than being able to show the public’s demand to eradicate puppy farms in Ireland?

What does better legislation look like?

A simple ask - there should be a register of all breeder license holders accessible online via a local authority portal and updated on an ongoing basis. This will empower the public with the knowledge of where a puppy or dog has been bred before buying.

The 2018 Guidelines for breeding establishments should be enshrined into law and it should not be left to the breeder to implement this guidance, which is currently purely voluntary.

It is completely unreasonable and impractical to suggest that one staff member could properly manage 25 breeding bitches. As a condition of licensing, we would recommend that this suggested ratio is significantly reduced.

We have an average staff to dog ratio of 1:6 at our Rehoming centre in Finglas and 1:3 in our dedicated Maternity Ward which will give you an indication of best practice.

What are the laws around the sale of dogs?

In February 2020, laws to crack down on the illegal sale of dogs and pups in Ireland were introduced – and welcomed by Dogs Trust and other animal welfare organisations.

Now, to sell pets, a person must:

  • Register sales with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine if selling six or more pets per calendar year
  • Display a Dog Breeding Establishment number if in possession of six or more female dogs capable of breeding
  • Include specific information in an advertisement of a pet animal for sale, including the microchip number*

*lack of a microchip or a non-valid microchip, could indicate the person does not want to be traced, and raises a big red flag for the dog’s welfare, and the conditions they are being kept in.

The laws also state that it is illegal to sell a puppy less than eight weeks old.

The aim of these laws is to stamp out cruel and illegal dog breeding and improve the health and welfare of dogs being sold and supplied.







Will you be presenting it to a particular minister or government department?

Raising the issue of puppy farming with Government is always at the forefront of our political agenda. We regularly engage with key Ministers and government officials to advocate for better animal welfare legislation in Ireland and advise national and international governments on legislation affecting the welfare of dogs. This petition will be central to our work in this area and will clearly demonstrate the huge public demand to eradicate puppy farms in Ireland.

If I decide to buy a puppy rather than adopt, what should I look out for?

Please see HERE.

How can I tell if a puppy comes from a puppy farm?

Many people will never know that their dog came from a puppy farm as it is very rare for them to actually see where their dog was bred. If you got your dog from an advert on the internet or a newspaper, a pet shop or garden centre and you did not visit the premises where the puppy was born to see them interacting with their mum and littermates, there is a chance that your dog was bred at a puppy farm.

Unfortunately some unscrupulous breeders are using what’s known as the ‘shop front strategy’ where a nice home is being used, often in a rural location and although the puppy is presented as having been raised there, there is no sign of the puppy’s Mum. Excuses will be made for her absence, such as she has been taken for a walk. Another ploy is to use a ‘fake’ Mum so it’s important to see the puppy and Mum interacting and see their relationship.

What issues might a puppy from a puppy farm have?

Puppy farmed dogs can suffer from physical and behavioural problems as a result of poor breeding and lack of exposure to regular handling, a normal home environment and everyday noises like hoovers and dishwashers and people coming and going etc.

Poor breeding can lead to all sorts of veterinary issues, including hip dysplasia, breathing difficulties, heavy parasite burden, chronic ear, eye and skin conditions, not to mention the potentially fatal Parvovirus.

Parvovirus – can be fatal but cost up to €1,500 to treat and often results in death

Worms – can be fatal but if it causes bad diarrhoea requiring a drip it could cost €500

Hip dysplasia – two total hip replacements could cost €7,000

Patella luxation (dislocating knee-caps) – surgery on both knees would cost €1,500

Congenital heart problems – if surgery required could cost €5,000-6,000

What advice do you have for someone thinking of getting a dog, at Christmas, or any time of year?

Please see HERE.

Why is it important for puppies to be around other dogs and people?

It is well established that the experience of puppies in their first 16 weeks of life will have lasting effects on their behaviour and health. The quality of experiences for puppies will therefore have a major impact on their lifelong quality of life. Both social (including other dogs, people and other animals) and non-social (including scents, sounds, objects and different environments) are important – all introduced carefully so every puppy finds each new experience positive.

Early socialisation means letting young puppies get used to other dogs/humans/other animals and to learn proper doggie communication skills so, that they can get on happily with other dogs in the future. Habituation is teaching your puppy that people, other animals, new experiences, objects and situations are nothing to be scared of. Both are imperative to ensuring a well rounded dog. If a puppy is not socialised and habituated properly from a very young age and for the first year of his life, this can lead to serious behavioural issues in later life.

What are the living conditions for mums and pups on puppy farms?

Puppies and their mums are often kept cramped together in dirty and poorly lit pens.

They’re often denied exercise and natural sunlight, and left with little or no bedding.

The mums are continuously bred until they are too old, or sick, and are then often callously discarded. Frequently, puppies who taken from their mum while they are still weaning, can develop lifelong behavioural, health and developmental issues.

Rescued mums and their pups can take a huge amount of commitment, hard work, patience and love to help them turn into happy, healthy and well-rounded dogs.

Thanks to our dog loving supporters, we help rescue mums and pups from lives of torment and put their paws on the path to a new life of hope and happiness.

We also lobby for the rights and welfare of all dogs, who are the victims of abandonment or cruelty.


What do I need to consider if I want a puppy?

Please see HERE.

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Dogs Trust Ireland, company limited by Guarantee. Registered in Dublin, Ireland under company no. 396919. Reg Office: Ashbourne Road, Finglas, Dublin 11.