Dogs Trust

Increase in the number of abandoned dogs arriving at Dogs Trust in shocking conditions post Christmas

Dogs Trust, Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, has experienced a significant number of stray and abandoned dogs arriving at their centre post Christmas. By Law, all dogs found straying must spend a minimum of 5 days in a local authority pound, to give their owner a chance to reclaim them. Unfortunately, in the majority of these cases, the welfare of the dogs arriving at the centre was of such concern, that the dogs were admitted for immediate veterinary attention.

The first horrific case arriving at Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre was on December 29th, just four days after Christmas Day. An 8 week old Pomeranian puppy had been found wandering in the North Dublin county area. The tiny dog had deep wounds to his muzzle and his coat was in bad condition. It was initially thought that the pup had been attacked by another animal, but on closer inspection, the wounds to his muzzle were more consistent with having been bound shut.

Catriona Birt, Head of Operations at Dogs Trust said;
"It’s absolutely heartbreaking to think that a pup of this age has been through so much trauma at such an early stage of his life. It’s difficult to comprehend what the reason might have been for tying his mouth shut were; whether it was to stop him barking or maybe to stop him mouthing, which is a typical puppy behaviour when learning to explore the world. ‘Little Lion Man’ as we named him is doing great now, having completed a course of antibiotics and spending some quality time with one of our foster families."



A few days later saw the arrival of Mary, a Shih Tzu found straying around the Finglas area and Joey, Ross and Chandler, three month old puppies found at a building site in County Wicklow.

Mary was in appalling condition; badly matted and had a noticeable tilt with her head. The veterinary team believe that the tilt is either due to an untreated ear infection or may relate to some sort of trauma to the dog’s head in the past. Mary has been fully groomed, received veterinary treatment and is enjoying the TLC from the team at the charity’s’ rehoming centre.


Mary, before                                   Mary, after      

Chandler, Joey and Ross are Terrier cross puppies who might have suffered a different fate had they not been found in a cardboard box by a builder visiting a site. The pups were infested with fleas and had a heavy worm burden; both of which have been treated by the veterinary team at Dogs Trust.

Suzie Carley, Executive Director said;
"We would love to remind anyone thinking of adding a dog to their family to consider the enormous commitment involve. On average, the lifespan of a dog is 14 years and the basic care of a dog for that duration of time can cost up to €10,000. We would encourage people to research breeds extensively; taking into account any genetic predisposition to particular disease, grooming requirements and of course, pet insurance cost, and of course speak to your local rescue centre, before making a decision.

Dogs Trust do appreciate that people’s situations can change, and understand it’s often a very sad and sometimes traumatic situation for somebody when they can no longer look after their pet. We would encourage people to seek information about the proper way to deal with such a situation, for instance going to welfare organisations close to them to seek advice and talk about the options available. If the reason for surrendering a dog is down to a behavioural issue, there might be a medical reason for the behaviour or perhaps training classes are required."

For more press information and interviews please contact:

Suzie Carley – Executive Director, Dogs Trust
Mobile – 086 839 2560
Email – [email protected] 

Ciara McGowan - PR and Communications Officer, Dogs Trust
Phone - 01 879 1828
Email - [email protected]