TWO leading animal rescue charities are urging people not to buy puppies online for Christmas that are typically bred by illicit traders in appalling conditions.
The DSPCA and Dogs Trust said unscrupulous dog traders are churning out thousands of puppies for the Christmas market which are more often than not bred for purpose in inhumane and poor conditions.
The DSPCA estimates there are more than 10,000 dogs and puppies advertised for sale online on any given day in Ireland.
And of the more than 1,600 animals rehomed by the DSPCA in the past twelve months, more than 35pc of dogs were pedigree, according to the animal welfare charity at the launch of its Christmas appeal.
DSPCA Chief Executive Brian Gillen said: "Not alone have we seen a substantial increase in abandoned pedigree pets, post-Celtic Tiger, but also a very worrying increase in pets purchased on the internet in line with the massive increase of online sales in general.
"We estimate that on any given day there are in excess of 10,000 dogs and puppies for sale online."
Dogs Trust has already logged 1,245 adverts placed on a popular trading website over the past week advertising puppies for sale.
But even some of the photos reveal the poor conditions they are living in – such as sleeping on beds of straw or bales of hay, said the charity's spokeswoman Kathrina Bentley.
Already Dogs Trust has had to rehome its first "winter abandonment" of the year in which a despicable dog owner callously threw a tiny Jack Russell terrier over an 8ft fence at the trust's rehoming centre in Finglas on one of the coldest nights of the year earlier this month.
Fortunately, the three-and-a-half-year-old dog – that was affectionately named 'Graham' by one of the centre's staff – didn't suffer any injuries and he is now being nurtured by the centre's staff.