MOST puppies and kittens bought as Christmas presents are purchased by parents for young children – but by Easter, many of these young animals will have been abandoned in shelters.
The DSPCA has urged the public to 'Adopt, Don't Buy' a pet this Christmas, as part of a new campaign to prevent pet trafficking and to provide forgotten pets with a second chance to live with a happy family.
They aim to house 150 puppies and kittens in the run-up to Christmas as part of the campaign launched by Dublin Lord Mayor Naoise O'Muiri.
Brian Gillen, CEO of the animal welfare body, said around 10,000 puppies were available for sale on any given day from puppy farms, advertised online.
"We don't want to paint everyone with the same brush, but if an animal has been bred for trafficking, it can be in dreadful condition and in poor health," he said.
The DSPCA is urging the public to consider adoption as a way of giving a healthy pet a second chance, he said – adding that all animals in their shelters will have been neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. It also offers a matching service – where people can come and talk to animal welfare workers about their requirements for a new pet.
Mr Gillen revealed that the agency also runs a 'doggy hotel', where they will give board and lodging to pets while an owner is away on holidays, at a cost of €17 per night for a cat or €21 for a dog.