Sharp increase in dogs seized by council

Photo: Thinkstock

Photo: Thinkstock

The number of stray and unwanted dogs seized by Mayo County Council increased sharply in 2014, according to the latest figures on dog control released by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

The figures show the authority had to put down 27 dogs last year and seized or collected 180 unwanted or stray dogs throughout the county.

The figures are roughly double those in 2013, when 96 dogs were collected and 12 put to sleep.

Jacqueline Brady from the veterinary department of Mayo County Council said the county's dog warden was off duty for a large period of 2013, which accounts for the increase in dogs seized in 2014.

Fifty-one of the dogs taken into the pound last year were surrendered by owners unwilling or unable to care for the animals, but 129 dogs were seized by the warden.

Mayo County Council said one of the main reasons for the seizure of dogs is to ensure the safety of people and to protect people's property, particularly livestock, from out of control dogs.

"Dogs are often seized because they are straying," said Ms Brady.

"They are either reported straying by a member of the public or the dog warden would find the dog straying."

Ms Brady said dogs cannot be allowed to roam free. "They should be under effectual control at all times."

Just 20 dogs were reclaimed from the pound last year. The majority, 133, were transferred to dog welfare charities for rehoming. The remaining 27 were put to sleep.

Ms Brady urged people to consider seriously the responsibilities involved before they acquire a dog.

"Before someone gets a dog, they need to consider the commitment that dog ownership entails," she outlined.

"Examples [are] the cost of a licence, veterinary fees for vaccinations, neutering and micro-chipping, and the cost of feeding a dog. Then this pet needs to be walked regularly. Each dog owner has a responsibility toward the dog and toward the community.

"Dog owners also need to clear up after their dog as dog litter is a health hazard."

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