Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust Welcomes the Continued Reduction in Destruction Rates in Irish Dog Pounds

The latest Dog Control Statistics from 2019 were released today by the Department of Rural and Community Development. The figures reveal that 398* dogs were destroyed in Irish pounds in 2019, which is a 45% decrease on the previous year.

Today’s statistics also revealed that 9,103* dogs entered the Irish Pound system during 2019, a 7.5% reduction on the 2018 figures. While this is a welcome improvement, the high volume of stray and surrendered dogs in Irish pounds is still a cause for concern, and we worry these figures may be just the tip of the iceberg. The number of stray dogs remains high at 6,351, especially considering only 1,921 of these dogs were reclaimed, leaving over 4,400 dogs either untraceable due to the lack of a registered microchip or simply no longer wanted by their owners. This and the 2,489 surrendered dogs highlights the worrying issue Ireland is still facing with people taking on the responsibility of owning a dog without thinking about the long-term commitment it entails.

Speaking about the latest figures, Becky Bristow, Executive Director at Dogs Trust said: “Despite a continued reduction in the number of dogs being euthanised in Irish Dog Pounds last year, the volume of dogs entering the pound system is still worryingly high. We also must recognise that these figures may not be a true reflection of unwanted dogs in Ireland as many dogs are surrendered directly to animal welfare charities across the country or are sold or given away by their owners and never enter the pound system.

Of particular concern, especially given the current demand for puppies during the lockdown period, is the fact that so many dogs were surrendered last year, and until we can establish the reasons behind this, it is difficult to develop preventative measures. The local authority recording system urgently needs to be updated so we can identify the areas that dog owners are struggling with. We can then look into how we and other welfare organisations can address this so we can all work towards the day when every dog is free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.”

We have been actively working with local authorities across Ireland since 2009 in order to take in and rehabilitate stray and abandoned dogs, and find loving homes for them through our Dublin Rehoming Centre, and nationally through our Regional Rehoming programmes. If you are considering adopting a dog, please see www.DogsTrust.ie/Rehoming for more information on giving a dog a second chance in life.

*Does not include registered greyhounds