A puppy should not be considered a Christmas gift or a birthday gift; they should be considered as a family member who you are willing to commit to for a lifelong period. They aren’t a temporary source of entertainment or a purchase that keeps being sold on for further profit. They are a living being, a life that depends on your love, attention and care to survive. Why is it that we buy puppies for our children only for them to grow tired or to not want the dog? Why is it that we make the decision to send them back? Why is it that they made that ridiculous decision when, in reality, these people have no real knowledge of the responsibility they’re taking on? It is sickening. Sickening. It needs to stop, but how do we stop such things. To those who are thinking about buying their first puppy/dog, stop and think about it? Are you ready to take on that responsibility? Do you have the time to care for this new family member? There is a whole world of research and preparation and thinking to be done before welcoming a puppy or dog into your life and this should extend to all pets, not just dogs.
Over the Christmas break, puppy farms have seen an increase in buyers for puppies. The Journal.ie stated that “Ireland is the puppy farm capital of Europe” with a story of a couple to back up such suspicions of the illegal farms. A couple had bought their dog wit the best of intentions and it occurred to them afterwards how the owners did not live in the house where they collected their new family member. Friends of theirs were looking to buy a different breed of dog from the same address that was being used, suspicions were raised.
The ISPCA stated “These animals often end up being unwanted, abandoned and destroyed each year due to behavioural issues or simply because they are just not the right type of puppy or dog for the family”. As previously mentioned, puppies or dogs should not be treated as a part-time “hobby” or “chore” or something to take the boredom away on a slow day, they need to be treated as a full-pledged family member who’s given the world of attention and care and love.
The real question is how can we, as a society, can crack down on these organisations? What can we do to slowly shutdown these operations and free those little paws from such a terrible life? The ISPCA recommends “asking local vets if they know any reputable breeders or to contact the Irish Kennel Club for advice”. Looking for the right puppy or dog to welcome into your life requires research and asking questions and looking around in all the right places, the Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group (IPAAG) encourages you to read their advice on what to look for and how to register pedigree puppies etc.
The image of puppies in cages or trapped somewhere where they aren’t safe or content is an image that makes me anxious. Puppies deserve to be cuddled up on your lap or running around the park on the grass and getting to meet other puppies and dogs. Do not support or buy puppies from puppy farms, do not go into this lifelong commitment with second thoughts and do not treat your puppy like a temporary distraction. Animal well-being is just as important as human-wellbeing; we are all the same, beating heart with a soul that yearns for a life full of love and happiness. There wouldn’t just be people who would raise their hand in a vote to get rid of puppy farms, but if we look down, we’d see some cute little puppy paws raised too!