Ireland is known as the puppy farm capital of Europe, with nearly 100,000 puppies bred every year. We have a huge problem with puppy farming, and the numbers keep on growing thanks to websites such as Done Deal and Gumtree.
In an interview with Gillian Bird from DSPCA she informed the circular “that anybody can set up any account with a ready to go mobile number” and away the go. They use ready to go mobiles so that they can go untraceable.
Organization such as DSPCA finds this a “huge problem” as they are only ever able to help the puppies and not the mothers.
When they get a call about a puppy farm from someone who bought a dog from one, DSPCA find it extremely hard to trace the breeder. Often these people meet in car parks, and the puppies “aren’t always clean, often unhealthy looking and people buy them because they feel sorry for them, if I don’t buy this animal what’s going to happen to it”.
At the moment there is a “Big problem with puppy exporting especially out of Dublin Port.” Breeders are exporting large numbers of pups over to the UK to sell. Sometimes they even buy pups from others. “It is like they have a shopping list, like I need x amount of bichons, and x amount of westies and they would go online and buy an entire litter.” This makes it almost impossible to track down the original breeder.
The condition’s in which the puppies and mothers live in are horrendous, they are kept 24 hours a day in cramped filthy conditions, small pet crates, boxes or wire cages even old cars and vans, which are not even big enough for one.
These cramped conditions’ can cause serious health issues such as kennel cough. Kennel cough is a highly contagious infection, dogs catch kennel cough when they inhale bacteria or virus particles into their respiratory tract. Both pups and mothers can often be very unsocial, as they are usually deprived of human contact.
Many of the pups are born with hereditary defects usually because they are commonly in-breed. “For all we know the mother could be the sister of the father.” Which can cause physical and mental defects, which are usually not noticed until the puppy is brought home to its new home.
Everyone always forgets about the mothers. They are abused over and over in order for breeders to make profit.
When puppies are rescued no one ever thinks to ask about the mothers. The breeders make themselves untraceable in order to protect themselves and keep their animals.
Dog’s normally go into season twice a year, Breeders use drugs to exploit this and force them into three or four times a year to have pups. “It literally drains the mothers” every litter a dog has her life span is reduced by about 6 months. “The average life expectancy of a dog on a puppy farm is about 5-6 years.” The farm would get at least 12-15 litters in that time frame.
Gillian Bird told The Circular that people looking for a new dog should go to a registered breeder and visit the pup at home with its mother to check that all is as it should be. “ No car park transactions ” or people should consider giving a home to dogs in shelters like the DSPCA who take in strays, abandoned dogs and rescue dogs.