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Thursday 28 August 2014

New home for Maia Dunphy – and furry friends too

Kirsty Blake Knox

Published 24/03/2014 | 02:30

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Maia Dunphy with terrier puppies "Scooby," "Daphne" and "Velma" at the Dogs Trust in Finglas. Photo: Fran Veale
Maia Dunphy with terrier puppies "Scooby," "Daphne" and "Velma" at the Dogs Trust in Finglas. Photo: Fran Veale
Maia Dunphy with Heath and Bracken, Husky cross pups at the Dogs Trust in Finglas. Photo: Fran Veale
Maia Dunphy with Heath and Bracken, Husky cross pups at the Dogs Trust in Finglas. Photo: Fran Veale

SHE'S finally to set up home with her husband Johnny Vegas after three years of marriage.

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And broadcaster Maia Dunphy is now appealing to people for a new home for abandoned dogs.

The 37-year-old was on hand to announce the construction of a new wing at the Dogs Trust Ireland yesterday.

The "puppy wing" will nurse abandoned puppies back to health and find them happy homes.

"I don't own any puppies myself, but I am animal mad," said Maia. "We always had lots of dogs running around when I was growing up."

She is currently preparing to move to London to live with her comedian husband after they conducted a long-distance relationship since their marriage.

Ireland remains the "puppy farming capital of Europe", with over 90,000 pups being bred in the country each year.

As a result of puppy farming, an estimated 5,500 dogs are destroyed in Ireland each year – and according to Dogs Trust spokesperson Katrina Bentley, this number could rise in 2014.

"People are going online and buying puppies. This encourages unscrupulous breeders to breed dogs for money rather than their wellbeing," Bentley told the Irish Independent.

"The number of puppies abandoned has increased tenfold since last year.

"We have had breeders ringing in and asking if we provide a 'pick-up' service for unwanted pups, while others simply dump boxes of puppies on the side of the road."

The new wing, which will cost €1.5m to construct, will save the lives of roughly 500 puppies each year. It will also create seven new staff jobs for specialist puppy canine carers and veterinarians.

Irish Independent

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