What’s Happening: April 2, 2012


    People are understandably baffled at the fact that so many Irish dogs are sent to the UK to be rescued and re-homed, even though the UK have their own rate of euthanasia to worry about. Here the UK rescue organisations explain the reality of the situation in the UK and why they are willing to help our Irish dogs:

    7,121 dogs were destroyed in the UK last year which is very sad.

    Most of the poor unfortunate dogs that are euthanised in the UK are bull breeds which the UK rescues find extremely difficult to re-home.

    The constant breeding of Staffordshire bull terriers etc. in the UK is totally out of control and the pounds are completely over-run with these dogs that very few people want… except the types of people that use them for despicable reasons such as: To guard their stashes of drugs, or worst of all…..for illegal DOG FIGHTING. Dog fighting is very active in the UK and Ireland.

    Every day, rescues in the UK are asked to take in, poor innocent bull breeds from the pounds but they find it impossible to home them to responsible owners.
    It's heart-breaking for the people that run the rescues (who adore ALL dogs regardless of their breed) to see these poor dogs getting destroyed, but if the rescues took them all in, everyone would be full indefinitely with dogs that they can't re-home. This would obviously put the whole rescue situation at a stand still – both for the rest of the bull breeds which are constantly being bred in the UK – and of course……the Irish dogs.

    Anytime dogs such as Spaniels, Collies, Retrievers, Labradors, Jack Russells etc. (or mixes of these types of breeds) come into a pound or rescue in the UK, they are snapped up immediately because there is a huge demand for them. A healthy non bull breed dog is rarely put down in the UK unless it has serious behavioural issues. The British public are crying out to the shelters for these breeds of dogs…. but… (if the shelter doesn't take in dogs from Ireland)…… they are seldom available.
    Then the public have to go for their only other option which is to buy from a breeder – perhaps irresponsibly from a puppy farm or through specialist websites. They are unaware that there's a very high chance that they would most likely be supporting the many unregulated puppy farms in Ireland. It's estimated by a coalition of veterinary and animal welfare organisations (Veterinary Ireland Companion Animal Society, the Irish Kennel Club, Dog's Trust, Dublin SPCA, ISPCA and the Irish Blue Cross) that there are around 250 puppy farms in Ireland – some with up to 800 breeding bitches who are forced to live in filthy diseased conditions and they export around 45,000 puppies to the UK annually.

    Surely, it makes more sense to keep the spaces free in the UK rescues for the non bull-breed Irish dogs they can so easily re-home.
    A life saved is a life saved, no matter where in the World it's coming from.

    So, this is the sad truth for the UK rescues ……..A heart breaking choice has to be made: Either… save a ONE-OFF small amount of bull breeds…. OR ….. REGULARLY save thousands upon thousands of non bull-breed Irish dogs every year.

    In the UK, Animal Charity Blue Cross says that the number of badly treated Staffordshire bull terriers being brought in is growing at an alarming rate. In 2011, up to 90% of staffies needing a new home had to be turned away and most of them are likely to be put down. Blue Cross Chief Executive Kim Hamilton said "We have a huge welfare problem with bull breeds in the UK. There are enormous numbers being bred and used as 'status dogs' and a shocking number of them are being given up and abandoned. We take in as many as we can but there simply aren't enough homes for them to go to. It's the same story with rescues across the country."

    The RSPCA says that 80% of dogs in many of it's centres are either staffies or staffie cross breeds and the percentage is rising rapidly.

    At Battersea Cats & Dogs Home, 50% of the 6,125 dogs they took in 2011 are bull breeds such as staffies or banned pit bulls. Almost a third of the dogs they receive overall have to be destroyed either because of the injuries from fighting or because they're an illegal breed. Pit bulls are one of the 4 types of dogs that are banned under the 1991 dangerous dogs act. This current dog legislation means that the charity has a legal obligation to put down all dogs that are an illegal breed.

    Dogs Trust: According to Clarissa Baldwin Chief Executive, “There were 7,121 dogs destroyed last year in the UK. This isn't a huge amount at all when you consider that there are 8.2 million dogs in the UK. When Dog's Trust knock on the doors of the Local Authorities on the 7th day (the UK statute of retention of strays) they find that unfortunately VERY FEW OF THE DOGS ARE REHOMABLE – either because they are bull breeds or their temperament is unsound. Dog's Trust do phenomenal work both in Ireland and the UK….. and according to Clarissa: "In the meantime – one of the solutions to stop so many perfectly rehomable dogs being euthanised in Ireland is to export them to the UK rescues- but in the hopes that a sustainable solution can be found long term from within Ireland. And of course, we need to find our own solutions in the UK to stop the euthanasia of so many bull breeds."

    From the point of view of most of the Irish rescue organisations:

    We home as many animals as we can here in Ireland and we would dearly love if the figure was greater. There are lots of kind people here in Ireland who give great loving homes to animals BUT UNFORTUNATELY, THERE JUST AREN'T ENOUGH. The population of Ireland is 4 and a half million, as opposed to over 62 million in the UK, and there are thousands of 5 star, strictly home checked homes, in the UK waiting for our Irish pound dogs. These people are are willing to take them into their hearts and homes and treat them as members of the family and give them the amount of love and care and respect that they deserve so much after a bad start in life.

    While there's still an average of 14 dogs per day still being destroyed in Irish pounds, the good news is that the annual rate of dogs destroyed in Irish pounds has fallen by over 75% (from 21,367 dogs in 2002 to 5,296 dogs in 2011)

    There are 5 to 6 transporters and animal ambulances of dogs travelling by ferry out of Ireland every week. If those dogs had nowhere else to go, our destruction rates would be back to the figures in the early 2000’s.

    It is because now, apart from all the fantastic work of Dogs Trust, most of our top shelters and SPCAs…… (such as PAWS, Animal Heaven Animal Rescue, Galway SPCA, Dogs Trust Ireland, Ainmhithe, Deise, A Dog's Life, Leitrim Animal Welfare, Animal Care Society, Inistioge Puppy Rescue, and lots more)…..are getting serious help from a lot of fantastic bona fide rescues in the UK that this figure has dropped so dramatically. Also, at long last, a lot of our pounds have begun working hand in hand with the local shelters and SPCAs.

    To conclude: In the words of Clarissa Baldwin of Dogs Trust:

    "Ireland has too many dogs being destroyed and of course it is not the answer to ship dogs across the water but instead to find solutions in Country. This is partly why Dogs Trust set up in Ireland. Since 2006, we have helped to neuter 75,000 dogs, we have conducted 2,927 schools workshops reaching 87,000 children – the dog owners of tomorrow – and re-homed 2,000 dogs in Ireland. These are certainly some of the tools that we use but they aren’t an instant remedy.
    So yes, for the meantime one of the solutions, to stop so many dogs being put to sleep in Ireland, is the export to known bona fide rescues in the UK but in the hopes that a sustainable solution can be found long term from within Ireland. The new legislation on Breeding in Ireland should be a help but only if it is enforced. We will be closely watching this enforcement over the coming year."

  • Will you look at the happy mom….. she gave birth to eight healthy pups…. tha…
    Will you look at the happy mom….. she gave birth to eight healthy pups…. thanks shannon for doing a great job…xx

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