Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust Reveals Alarming Record Number of Dogs Facing Uncertain Futures in Ireland

Following a record number of surrender requests this year, we have launched our emotive campaign entitled “Save the Next Dog” to highlight the sheer volume of dogs facing uncertain futures across the country.

From January to October 2023, we have been contacted by almost 3,500 people seeking to relinquish their dog. This is the highest number of surrender requests that we have ever recorded in a year, since opening our centre in 2009. Unwanted behaviour, accommodation challenges and owners not having enough time are the three most commonly provided reasons to us from people asking to surrender dogs.

Two recent victims of the ongoing unwanted dog crisis are Tiny and Minnie, both Jack Russell Terriers of approximately 11 years of age, who were callously thrown from a moving car in Dublin. After being treated for their initial injuries and kept under observation for a week by The Irish Blue Cross, both dogs came to us to continue their rehabilitation and to find their forever home.

 Another example is a litter of seven Springer Spaniel puppies who were found abandoned at the gate of our rehoming centre. The pups had sarcoptic mange, a highly contagious condition, causing extreme itching and discomfort to both dogs and people.

Niamh Curran-Kelly, Veterinary and Welfare Manager at Dogs Trust Ireland said: “We are seeing more and more cases of dogs being abandoned with extensive veterinary needs, and it has made us question if people cannot currently afford to look after their dogs? Unfortunately, we are then left to cover expensive medical costs which, in some cases, could have been easily treated when they initially arose.”

As part of the campaign, we are launching an emotive, new TV advert showing it’s not just owners who are having to make impossible choices but also our team at who are working tirelessly to help as many dogs as possible.

Regional Manager, Eimear Cassidy at Dogs Trust Ireland explained: “We are being contacted by dog pounds and other welfare organisations around the country, as well as members of the public, asking us to take dogs. It’s distressing to hear the desperation in the voices of the people who contact us and having to say that we only have space for a certain number of dogs breaks our hearts. Everyone involved in dog welfare is trying their very best to help as many dogs as possible but the sheer number of dogs who have nowhere to go is overwhelming.”

Executive Director of Dogs Trust Ireland, Suzie Carley concluded: “Many dog owners in Ireland are in crisis and being forced to make heartbreaking decisions. However, Dogs Trust and many other organisations like us, are having to make impossible choices because we simply don’t have the resources to take them all. The sad truth is that it’s getting tougher to save every dog that needs us. As a charity that receives no government funding, we are appealing to the dog-loving public to please support us, so we can continue to save the next dog in need.

To find out more about the campaign and how you can help, please see