Wednesday 21 February 2018

Revealed: The counties that put down (and re-home) the most dogs

A dog's best (and worst) friend - Irish pounds put down 1,800 dogs in 2015

(stock image)
(stock image)

Tomás Heneghan

Cork put down the most stray dogs last year, according to a new report from the Department of the Environment.

According to the latest Dog Control Statistics, of the 1,824 stray dogs euthanised by county and city councils across the country in 2015, Cork City and County Councils dealt with 248.

With just over a dozen in the difference, Wexford put down a further 232 strays, while Limerick Council dealt with 204 euthanisations in the year.

Carlow and Leitrim came off as more dog-friendly with only 2 stray dogs put down in each county last year.

In good news for dog-lovers, of the 13,276 stray dogs held by all councils in 2015, 11,136 of them were either reclaimed, rehomed or transferred to animal welfare groups.

Dublin animal welfare charities took in a massive 743 of the strays throughout the year, while those under the remit of Cork City Council and Fingal Council took in no strays at all.

However, only 80 stray dogs were taken in by Waterford welfare groups in total, the lowest number from a county that did take in strays.

In 2014, 2,896 of the 14,801 stray dogs held by county and city councils were euthanised, while 11,619 of them were reclaimed, rehomed or transferred to animal welfare groups.

Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust Ireland welcomed the drop in figures from 2014.

However the group’s Executive Director, Mark Beazley also said: “The reality of today’s figures show that up to 37 dogs entered Irish pounds each and every day during 2015.

"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 5 days in case the owner comes forward looking for their pet.

“However, when a dog is handed over by its owner, as 3,437 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.

"The majority of these dogs are healthy animals surrendered by their owners who cannot or, in some cases, will not care for their pet any more’

Showing their love for man’s best friend, 662 dogs were re-homed or reclaimed by people in Cork last year, while a massive 643 of the strays were picked up by Dubliners.

But it was bad news for Mayo, with only 18 of the total 139 strays last year being taken in by locals, the lowest number of all counties for the year.

The official report also casts a dark shadow over Ireland’s record with greyhounds.

Of the 366 stray and unwanted greyhounds held by city and county councils around the country last year, 203 of them were put down by the authorities, while only 19 were re-homed or reclaimed and 143 transferred to animal welfare groups.

By the end of the year there were no greyhounds being held by the councils, while 253 other stray dogs were yet to be re-homed, reclaimed or euthanised.

Mr Beazley added: “Dogs Trust never destroys a healthy dog and our message to dog owners is very simple – please be a responsible dog owner by neutering and microchipping your pet.

"Dogs Trust runs affordable neutering and microchipping campaigns throughout the year enabling members of the public to have their dogs neutered and microchipped for free or at a subsidised price. Dogs Trust also welcomed the introduction of compulsory microchipping into Law earlier this year.” 

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