department dogs trust environment ireland irish
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More than 1,500 dogs were destroyed in dog pounds around Ireland last year, an average of four a day, Department of the Environment figures show.
A total of 12,549 dogs went into pounds last year, a 4 per cent decrease on the total for 2015, and the number destroyed, at 1,522, was down 16 per cent.
The number of stray dogs entering pounds increased by 16 per cent to 9,244.
The animal welfare charity Dogs Trust said the reduction in dogs in pounds and cases of them being put down were welcome but that four dogs on average were destroyed in pounds every day.
“Since our work began in 2005, we have seen a steady decline in the number of dogs dying in Irish dog pounds year on year,” a spokesman for the trust said. “Through our preventative measures such as neutering, microchipping and education campaigns to promote responsible dog ownership to the reduction of these numbers.”
Dogs Trust said it is concerned about the high percentage of registered greyhounds entering and dying in dog pounds.
Of the 284 greyhounds that went into pounds last year, 234 were surrendered by their owners and 46 were taken in as strays. It said 152 of the 284 were destroyed.
Dogs Trust called on the owners and trainers of racing greyhounds to make adequate provision for their re-homing once their racing careers end.
Dogs Trust executive director Suzie Carley said the figures show just over 34 dogs entered Irish pounds each day last year.
“When a dog is picked up by a dog warden and enters the dog system as a stray, the pound has an obligation to keep the dog for five days in case the owner comes forward looking for their pet,” she said.
“However, when a dog is handed over by its owner, as 3,137 were last year, the pound has no legal obligation to keep it for any length of time and the dog could be put to sleep the same day.”