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Dogs lives are not a commodity

I refer to the spate of pedigree dog robberies from private houses over the last week. Three German Shepherd unweaned pups were stolen in Co Louth and a King Charles in Malahide, and none of these was recovered. While the supposed carers of these unfortunate dogs offer rewards and quote upset children, they must acknowlege the wider picture here.

These dogs are being stolen because a monetary value has been placed on their heads. Pedigree dogs are bred to make a profit. Their owners are contributing to animal suffering and death in three ways:

1. 18,000 dogs were killed in Irish pounds last year because they were not wanted. Many people chose to buy dogs which aer in fashion or of a certain breed. This creates fewer homes for those needing rescue.

2. By buying a dog, you are contributing to the profits of puppy breeders and farmers, who cause much suffering and neglect. These people couldn't care less that their female dogs are kept pregnant twice a year for their entire lives, just to make a profit. Many are kept in deplorable conditions, in cages and dark sheds.

3. Pedigree dogs cost up to €12,000. By putting such value on a defenceless creature, you are making them a target for theft. These are sentient beings and deserve love based on their own inherent value. To those thinking of buying a dog: remember, they are not possessions, fashion accessories or the latest craze.

Bernie Wright

Alliance for Animal Rights

PO Box 4743

Dublin 1

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