Dogs Trust

Sign now to end the illegal sale of dogs in Ireland.

52,953 dog lovers across Ireland have signed our petition to stop the illegal sale of dogs. Lets get to 55,000. Join them and sign today!


Sadly, for too many puppies and their mums, their Christmas story won’t have a happy beginning – or a happy ending.


But today, you have the power in your hands to change the story for dogs across Ireland. Your signature, and your voice, will join with thousands of others across Ireland, to stop the illegal sale of dogs.In puppy farms, mums are kept as breeding machines, forced to churn out litter after litter. The health and welfare of mum and her pups sacrificed for profit.

For too long, unscrupulous breeders have operated in the shadows, evading penalty, or punishment. But new laws introduced in February 2020, have banned the illegal sale, supply and advertising of dogs.

Now we need your help to make sure these laws are enforced.
Sign our petition today – speak up for dogs who have suffered in silence for too long.

Cramped into small and filthy pens with little or no bedding, mums and pups are denied the basic comforts every dog deserves. They are often kept in darkness. No feel of sunlight or warmth on their faces. Never getting to sniff the fresh air or feel soft grass or blankets under their paws.

Their lives are brutal and cruel but it’s in your power to give them a life that’s worth living.

Your signature today represents a crucial step forward in ending puppy farming as every dog being sold will be fully traceable.

In the run up to Christmas, thousands of puppies will be advertised for sale. Some will come from reputable breeders. Some will come from sellers who care nothing for the lives and welfare of puppies and their mums.

By signing the petition today, unscrupulous breeders will have nowhere left to hide.

Anyone selling six or more pets must register and display their seller number and commercial dog breeders must display their Dog Breeding Establishment registration number along with the dog’s microchip number, on advertisements. This means all sellers will be traceable.

And it means dog lovers like you will be able to make more informed decisions if choosing to buy a dog.

Please will you join us today to stop the illegal sale of dogs?

By signing the petition, you will…

STAND UP for dogs who are cramped and crouched in tiny pens day and night

SPEAK UP for dogs who have no voice of their own to defend themselves

SAVE MUMS AND PUPS in the future from the cruelty of puppy farms

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we running the #SoldAPup campaign?

New laws were introduced in February 2020, to clamp down on the illegal sales of dogs and puppies across Ireland.

However, many unscrupulous breeders have chosen to ignore the new laws. For them, it is business as usual.

We need to ensure these laws are enforced.

We need dog loving people like YOU to stand up with us!

By signing our SoldAPup petition today, you will send a loud and clear message to government that we will not stop until we…

  • Put an end to illegal and misleading adverts
  • Ensure puppy breeders are traceable and accountable
  • Stamp out cruel breeding practices where mums and pups are forced into a life of misery and pain for profit
Do petitions work?

Yes, they do!

In 2018, we launched our #DoggieInTheWindow petition, calling on then Minister of State, Sean Canney, to review and strengthen the Dog Breeding Establishment (DBE) Act of 2010.

Dogs Trust presented over 82,000 signatures from dog lovers like you to Mr Canney, who then announced his intention to review the DBE Act as a matter of urgency.

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

Senator Catherine Ardagh said in response to our #DoggieInTheWindow campaign:

“In order to stamp out [unscrupulous puppy farming] and help reduce the number of unwanted dogs that are later disposed of, we need to see a cross-departmental response.”

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

Please see HERE.

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

Please see HERE.

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.

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

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 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 doggy 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.

Mums are often forced to give birth to litter after litter of pups, only to watch each and every one of her babies be cruelly snatched from her.

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 are the new laws around puppy farming

As of February, 1st of this year, new 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, in order 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 new laws also state that it is illegal to sell a puppy less than eight weeks old.

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







Registered Charity Number 20057978
Dogs Trust Ireland, company limited by Guarantee. Registered in Dublin, Ireland under company no. 396919. Reg Office: Ashbourne Road, Finglas, Dublin 11.