Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power has welcomed news that the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has finally commenced the new puppy farm laws. She has urged people to think carefully before bringing home a new pet this Christmas.


“It is a relief that this important legislation, which was drawn up by the previous Government and passed by the Oireachtas last year, will now be implemented,” said Senator Power.


“Most breeders care for their animals and ensure that their pups are given the best possible start in life. However, there are still many “puppy farmers” whose sole motivation is money and who breed pups in cramped and filthy conditions. Many of the dogs go on to have serious physical and emotional problems as a result. The new puppy farm laws will help to crack down on these despicable practices.”


Senator Power has urged people who are looking to buy a puppy to check carefully where it was bred.


“It is important that anyone buying a puppy checks that they have been brought up in the right conditions and treated well. Make sure to take at least two visits to the breeder before you collect your pup. Inspect the area where it has been living to check that it is clean and warm. Watch the puppy interacting with its mother and the rest of the litter and check that all appear alert and healthy. Be sure that your pup is over 8 weeks old and ask if it has had its vaccinations yet. Responsible breeders will be happy to answer any queries you have and glad that their pup is going to a good home. If you don’t trust the breeder, or they seem cagey about your questions, don’t buy from them.”


Senator Power also pointed out that rescue dogs can make wonderful pets and urged people to consider adopting a dog from a rescue centre.


“However, whether you are buying a dog from a breeder or re-homing one from a shelter, it is vital that you are absolutely sure that it will be cared for properly. A dog can bring great joy to a home.  But they also require a lot of time and money. Regular exercise is vital and the cost of food and vet bills can be a lot more than you expected. Every year, too many dogs are abandoned after Christmas because people did not think things through properly before bringing a new pet home. So, if you’re thinking of getting a dog for your own family or as a gift for someone else, please be sure that the owner is ready for such a long-term commitment,” she said.