MADRA has asked people not to support the puppy industry following the discovery of 16 dehydrated and malnourished pups near Athenry last week.
Nine of the pups — a mixture of harrier hounds, boxers and spaniel cross puppies, aged between eight and 12 weeks — have died since they were found in an abandoned horsebox in Ballydavid, Athenry, on Tuesday July 17.
“The remaining puppies are not out of the woods,” said the charity’s animal welfare officer, Stephanie Costello. “Our fear is that they have all come into contact with the parvovirus before they arrived at the shelter. Those that are not with a veterinary clinic are in isolation at the kennels. We are very grateful to Ark and Moycullen vets for the advice and support they have given to us at this very difficult time.”
In the aftermath, MADRA is appealing to anyone considering buying a puppy to adopt from a local rescue shelter in the first instance, and to visit the Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group website, IPAAG.ie, for information.
“We are fighting to save the surviving puppies who are in a serious condition,” said MADRA general manager Jonathan Kent. “It is not possible to switch off the emotional impact of a rescue situation like this, but it is incredible what they have achieved so far, and we will continue to work tirelessly until the remaining seven puppies are healthy.
“I don’t know how our kennel crew were able to get through it all over the last number of days,” he added. “They stayed up late into the night to assess and care for the puppies when they first arrived.
“It is heartbreaking that 16 puppies were left without food and water and locked in a horse trailer. They were covered in fleas and lice, were not vaccinated, and had roundworm.
“I want to thank the outreach of support we have received so far from the public and from other rescue centres around the country.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Loughrea Garda Station.
MADRA is also appealing for donations towards the cost of veterinary care for the pups. To make a donation visit www.madra.ie