A Mayo SPCA volunteer has warned dog owners and breeders that the practice of ‘tail docking’ is now illegal and the animal welfare charity will be reporting any incidents it comes across to the gardaí.
Annie Kivlichan issued the alert after the Mayo SPCA rescued seven springer spaniel puppies from a home in north Mayo.
As well as being badly underweight and lice infected, the puppies’ tails had been docked.
Tail docking, which is widely considered to be a form of animal cruelty, is when part of a dog’s tail is removed.
“It is a horrible, cruel, and painful practice,” said Ms Kivlichan.
It is also now illegal under the new Animal Health and Welfare Act introduced last March.
The new laws ban tail docking except in very specific circumstances and then, it can only be performed by a veterinary surgeon.
“The owner of the dogs told us a neighbour had performed the docking,” said Ms Kivlichan.
“It is shocking to think that dog owners are still doing this and we urge anyone to call us if they know of this painful practice being performed. Any information given will be treated in the strictest confidence,” she added.
The spaniel puppies are now being cared for by Mayo SPCA staff.
“After veterinary treatment and a week of lots of good food and handling, they are now starting to come out of their shells,” said Ms Kivlichan.
The dogs have been named Adam, Charles, Chico, Harry, James, Lee and Steve.
“Homes are needed with people who will give them a better life than they had to start with. If you can help, do please call us,” said Ms Kivlichan.
The Mayo SPCA is a voluntary charity and operates a ‘no kill’ policy. It rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes some 500 animals each year.
For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.mayospca.ie or telephone (094 ) 9631888.