Tanya Jones appeals to families not to buy puppies at Christmas

Tuesday December 19 2017

Green Party Deputy Leader Tanya Jones has appealed to families not to buy puppies for Christmas, but instead consider waiting until the New Year and giving a home to a rescue dog.

Council figures show that 90 unwanted dogs were collected in Fermanagh and Omagh between April 17 and September 17 this year, of which 38 were put to sleep.

Fifty were sent to shelters or animal organisations and two were sold.

Across Northern Ireland as a whole, 566 unwanted dogs were collected by council staff and 106 were humanely destroyed.

“We are inundated with dogs needing homes, so I would urge people to consider getting a rescue dog instead of buying a pet that could have come from a puppy farm or been illegally imported,” the Fermanagh representative for the Green Party said.

“If you think you’re ready for a pet, it’s better to hold off until the New Year and then visit an animal shelter.

“That way you will be able to meet the dog who might become a member of your family, get to know them properly, and receive expert advice to get your relationship off to the best start.

“This is how we first met our two dogs Abby and Jess two years ago, when we visited Bright Eyes Animal Sanctuary. It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made!”

Tanya said animal rescue charities are inundated with unwanted pets after Christmas.

“Not only are charities dealing with unwanted pets that have been bought as Christmas presents, but now you have the additional problem of illegally imported pets,” she said.

Last week, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) warned of the dangers of inadvertently buying pet dogs that maybe have come from outside the UK and may not have been properly vaccinated.

DAERA warned that importing a non-vaccinated pup from a country where rabies is present could endanger life. Imported pups must be at least 15 weeks old, microchipped, currently vaccinated against rabies, treated for tapeworm (unless it comes directly from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway) and in possession of a pet passport or veterinary certificate.

The Department said some genuine purchasers have been duped into buying illegally imported pups which may have been bred in very poor conditions giving rise to major health and welfare concerns.

 

ENDS

Linda Stewart

028 9052 1141

07594 391264

 

Photo:© Fermanagh Herald, Mal McCann