According to online search trends the demand for buying a puppy in Ireland has sky-rocketed by 400% and so too has the risk of purchasing a dog from a puppy farm.
Dogs Trust revealed 20% of people who purchased a dog during lockdown in Ireland collected their dog on the same day as they first enquired about him/her, highlighting the unfortunate current click and collect culture around the sale of dogs.
The research found that 82% of those who purchased dogs during this time paid in cash and 34% of dogs were not microchipped.
In January, the government urged pet owners to microchip all cats and dogs in a newly launched appeal.
In a new statement, the government said that microchipping was a “vital part of being a responsible pet owner”.
Some 92% of dogs are now microchipped following compulsory measures introduced in 2016. Since the introduction of this legislation, dogs handled by local authorities have decreased by 15%, according to the Dogs Trust.
Becky Bristow, executive director, Dogs Trust Ireland explains: “While we would love if every dog could be adopted, we understand some people are going to buy a dog or puppy for a variety of reasons.
“Sadly, it has become almost impossible to do this safely, especially as puppy farmers can go to extreme lengths to disguise themselves as caring breeders and people can unwittingly fuel this vile trade.”
She added: “Unfortunately, in the digital age we live in, people are often afraid of publicising their bad experiences for fear of being vilified or trolled online, which means puppy farmers can continue to operate in the shadows.”