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A commitment to responsible dog ownership is a must for any potential dog owner

 

Perfect dog owner

 

“A commitment to responsible dog ownership is a must for any potential dog owner” says Charles Kealey, Donegal County Vet.

 

Speaking following the publishing of the Dog Control Statistic for 2015, the County Vet explains that whilst the number of dogs going through the Donegal County Council Dog Shelter is still high it does demonstrate an improvement in the attitude of dog owners who can no longer care for their dogs in that they are more likely to take the responsible decision to bring their dog to the Shelter”.

 

The statistics show that the number of dogs going through the Donegal County Council Dog Shelter in Letterkenny has reduced by more than 40% in the last five years from 869 in 2011 to 497 in 2015. The number of stray dogs seized by the dog wardens has reduced from 548 in 2011 to 156 in 2015 a reduction of over 70% while the numbers of dogs surrendered i.e. given in voluntarily by members of the public is unchanged (341 in 2015 and 321 in 2011). Therefore the number of strays in the county has reduced significantly in the 5 year period and the higher percentage of dogs going through the Shelter are due to people leaving their dogs in (68% of the dogs in the Shelter were surrendered in 2015 as opposed to 37% in 2011).

 

 “The reasons why owners leave their dogs in the Dog Shelter is not always given but an analysis of the 2015 figures shows that, where given, the main reason was changes in the circumstances of the owner. These are social reasons such as a death or birth in the family, old age, moving house or emigration. The other main reason given is behavioural including biting, displaying aggression and livestock worrying. Animal welfare was the third most frequent reason including old age, illness and injury”.

 

“Most of the owners leaving dogs into the Shelter did request that their dog be re-homed.  Overall, this is an improvement in behaviour by dog owners in the county who are now more likely to take the responsible decision to leave their dog in to the Donegal County Council Dog Shelter when they can no longer care for it. This improvement in attitude of dog owners in the county is to be welcomed”.

 

There still remains the difficulty of finding suitable homes for these dogs. The valuable work of local and national dog welfare groups is recognised by Donegal County Council.  It is hoped that this cooperation will continue in the future.

 

Dogs are available for re-homing to members of the public directly from the Dog Shelter. However, the County Vet is urging people to be responsible saying “always consider whether or not you can give the necessary commitment to be a responsible dog owner before re-homing a dog.  Veterinary Ireland has introduced Ten Commandments for Dog Ownership and further information can be found at donegalcoco.ie”

 

“If you are then sure that you are in a position to re-home a dog please contact the Dog Shelter (074 9125159) to arrange to view dogs currently available. Remember all dogs must have a licence and since April of this year must also be microchipped. Details are available from the Dog Shelter or at donegalcoco.ie”.

 

 

 

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