The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has launched an investigation into online animal trading standards. The DSCPA want to put an end to the unauthorised selling of animals online without documentation.
Alex Petrilli, one of the senior managers at DSPCA, explained what they found during their investigation.
“There are multiple adverts showing unacceptable volumes of puppy trading. In one case, a seller had over 15 different dog breeds advertised, which amounted an average of 150 puppies that were kept in unacceptable conditions.”
DoneDeal is one of the biggest seller of animals in Ireland and on Monday the DSPCA met with senior management of DoneDeal in order to try to identify the sellers of the adverts which has caused huge concern. The company is now urging people who spot these adverts to report them to DoneDeal immediately.
“There are other websites where this happens but DoneDeal is the largest, with an excess of 4,000 live adverts every day. They currently have no way to trace sellers. You should have to provide documentation if you want to sell an animal. At the meeting, DoneDeal told us they are currently working with the ISPCA and they plan to employ six more people to monitor sellers,” said Alex.
DoneDeal are doing what they can but unfortunately some of these sellers are always one step ahead. “Some traders place advertisements from multiple devices, which makes them untraceable. One seller was found to have placed advertisements from 20 different devices.”
The DSPCA say they would like DoneDeal to remove the animal section of their website with immediate effect, but the ISPCA warned this may have a dangerous effect.
Dr Andrew Kelly, CEO of the ISPCA said: “If DoneDeal was to shut down in the morning much of the market would be driven underground and it would be much more difficult to track down illegal sellers. We would urge members of the public who spot suspicious sellers to report it immediately either to us or DoneDeal.”
Border Terrier Abbi was never meant to be an assistance dog and has no formal training. Two-year-old Abbi belongs to Lucy Eccles, a six-year-old girl with Coffin-Siris Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes developmental delays and health problems. Lucy has difficulties with speech and language and demonstrates autistic behaviours.
Lucy has spent most of her life in and out of hospital having very invasive investigations and therapy. She attends the Central Remedial Clinic in Clontarf, Dublin and has at least two appointments per week and at the moment she is waiting on surgery in Temple Street Hospital.
Lucy’s mother Noeleen had initially intended on using Abbi as a show dog but unfortunately she did not make the grade. Noeleen however did notice that Abbi had some ability around Lucy and Abbi has now become a very important member or the Eccles family.
Abbi has brought some normality to Lucy’s life and by communicating with Abbi, Lucy is kept calm and relaxed. Lucy wears orthotics to help her walk. “The more mobile we keep Lucy, the better. Before Abbi came along, she would walk around and not notice her environment. Abbi helps her to avoid obstacles, encourages her to walk a little further, and Lucy is less prone to meltdowns. Life is much easier.”
As Abbi has no formal training they are not allowed to bring her into cafes or shops which is a pity. Noeleen is considering doing therapy dog work with Abby so that she can help other children.
Abbi also helps Lucy to communicate with other children. “Lucy doesn’t have any friends, and can find it hard when she wants to run after children in the playground. But Abbi is Lucy’s friend, and when people come over to look at her, Lucy feels more involved. Abbi has changed Lucy’s life.”
Abbi is nominated in the Irish Kennel Club Golden Paw Hero Dog Awards, which aim to find Ireland’s most courageous and life-changing dogs. The awards take place on Wednesday, 21 May. Check out http://www.ikc.ie/goldenpaw.
Last week coastguard volunteers rescued a dog who had fallen 150 feet onto rocks at the bottom of a steep coastal ravine.
Bella the Staffordshire Bull Terrier who was adopted from a rescue shelter fell onto the rocks at Rabbits Cove in Glandore, West Cork. Her howls were heard by owners and they searched the cliffs tops for her.
Incredibly Bella only suffered a broken leg when she fell but the seas were high and darkness was falling.
Coastguard volunteers from the Toe Head-Glandore Unit swung into action following a frantic call for help issued by Bella’s owner, local photographer Emma Jervis.
“The situation was desperate. We got help from a local boat at Union Hall to try and access the cove at sea level but the swell was too high. We couldn’t even see her,” she said.
Emma and her partner Clo Reddin’s hopes for their pets survival were hanging by a thread. Coastguard cliff and water rescue teams were tasked at 7.15pm as concerns mounted over dwindling daylight hours. “The reason we go in a situation like this is that if we don’t go, the owner or another civilian might put their life at risk,” deputy officer in charge of Toe Head–Glandore Coastguard John O’Mahony said.
The coastguard boat was launched from Union Hall and lead by coxswain Carla Nugent-Mules the crew managed to navigate the rocky inlet and scale the slippery rocks to reach the distraught dog.
Coaxing her with treats they gathered the whimpering Bella and got her back to the boat. Minutes later she was reunited with her owners. “She wagged her tail and she was so happy to see us, it was such a huge relief, they were minding her so well,” said Emma.
The bewildered Bella was wrapped in blankets and whisked off to a waiting vet. The sensational pet Staffie suffered cuts, bruises and a broken femur but defied all expectations by surviving.
“Thanks to everyone who made a call, tweeted and shared the call for help and thanks especially to the Coastguard for rescuing her, they were amazing,” Emma said.
Dundalk Dog Rescue has welcomed the reduction in dogs being surrendered in 2013 but it has said that a number of factors will result in huge increases in 2014.
Last year Dogs Trust have said there was an 11.5% reduction in dogs being surrendered to Irish pounds and statistics released also showed a 21% reduction in dog’s being destroyed for the same year.
“Whilst 2013 may have seen a reduction in dogs entering the pounds and being put down, it is unlikely that this trend will continue into 2014 as so far this year we have seen a dramatic increase in numbers being surrendered into the pound together with an increase in strays,” Edel Halpin of Dundalk Dog Rescue told the Democrat. “Added to the increase of dogs entering the pounds there is the reduction in rescue places available now to Irish dogs in the UK – the main outlet for them – because of the passport enforcement under the Balai Directive.
“The increased costs for an Irish rescue to passport all dogs entering the UK puts huge pressure on rescues like ourselves.
“Each dog has to receive a rabies vaccination (although no rabies in Ireland or in the UK), microchip in addition to the normal 7/1 vaccinations that a dog only required in the past.
“The extra costs come in at between 55 and 65 euros per dog not including the extra weeks the dogs have to stay in kennels which has now increased to 6 to 7 weeks from 2 to 3 weeks.
“UK pounds are also experiencing an increase in the number of strays and surrenders because of the economic climate and all of these factors spell bad news for Irish dogs. DDR helped over 800 dogs in 2013 to new lives in the UK with a small number going to Sweden and Italy.”
DDR believe that this figure will be dramatically reduced this year because of lack of rescue spaces available to DDR and the extra passport and kennelling costs involved.
“Ireland, in the past 10 to 12 years, received massive help from rescues like Dogs Trust who at one stage provided the pounds with vouchers covering neutering, chipping and vaccinations for dogs rehomed directly to the public by them, in an attempt to reduce the huge number of unwanted dogs in Ireland, but many of the people who received vouchers when homing a dog handed the voucher back with the dog to the pound and in many cases the dog was in pup.
“This sums up the attitude of the majority of people in Ireland to neutering. Ireland had more than enough chances to come to terms with the huge problem but failed to do so and now it is too late for the future dogs.”
Up to 10 dogs a day (3,516 dogs a year) are being killed in Irish pounds.
Speaking about these latest figures, Mark Beazley, Executive Director at Dogs Trust explains
‘“When a dog is picked up by a dog warden and enters the pound system as a stray, the pound has a legal obligation to keep the dog for 5 days in case the owner comes forward looking for their pet.”
However, when a dog is surrendered by their owner the pound has no legal obligation to keep the dog and the dog could be put to sleep that same day. Most of these dogs are healthy dogs and have just been surrendered by people who cannot or will not care for them anymore.
Dogs Trust will never destroy a healthy dog and send out a message to people to be responsible dog owners by neutering and micro chipping their dogs.
Dogs Trust runs affordable neutering and microchipping campaigns throughout the year and welcomes the introduction of compulsory microchipping of all dogs by 2016.”
Dogs Trust has been actively working with pounds across Irelandin order to rehabilitate stray and abandoned dogs and rehome them through their centre in Dublin. Operations Manager at Dogs Trust, Catriona Birt comments:
“Of the dogs entering our Rehoming Centre, 70% have come directly from the pound system with the majority of them being there, through no fault of their own. No breed is exempt from being abandoned or surrendered. Since we opened in 2009 we have rehomed almost 4,000 dogs and we have genuinely seen almost every size and type of dog come through our doors. The addition of our new Puppy Wing which will open in June this year will ensure we can save up to 500 additional puppies each year at our Rehoming Centre”
Dogs Trust is currently operating at full capacity with over 160 dogs and puppies in their care, including pregnant bitches, week old puppies and golden oldies.
If you are considering getting a dog, why not give a stray or abandoned dog a second chance of love and of life. For more information visit http://www.dogstrust.ie or call to Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre, Old Ashbourne Road, Finglas, Dublin 11. Opening hours 12 noon – 4pm including weekends, closed on Tuesdays.