Only a couple of weeks ago, Bane (pictured above) was as an urgent re-homing case. He was only 24hrs away from being put to sleep, his time in the pound was up.
Thankfully, he has turned out to be a wonderful dog; a great companion on walks and fun to train. But nothing, it seems, has changed in the world of rescue dogs.
Another local pound has a Rottweiler, like Bane, along with a number of other dogs, only guaranteed safe until Friday 31st October; that’s 3 days away as I type this.
This pound has, up to now, prided itself on it’s record of not having to put healthy dogs down. All the usual safety nets; voluntary rescue groups and foster home, are currently full.
Last year in Ireland, (2013) over 15,743* dogs ended up in dog shelters, 5,000 more than the previous year. Nearly a quarter of these dogs were put to sleep.
Putting thousands of healthy dogs to sleep each year is a disgrace. The Irish Government, at the very least, should introduce a widespread, subsidised program of spaying and neutering immediately. They need to fund local councils properly, enabling pounds to operate a policy of neutering and spaying all animals before being re-homed.
It would also be a help if the media highlighted the issue more, promoting rescuing as an alternative to buying. I know alot of animal welfare organisations would also welcome the removal of animals from online retail sites. Almost any animal can be obtained on a whim, transforming animals into disposable commodities.
When I looked at the picture of the young Rottweiler on death row, I just thought; are we back to square one?
Update – we now have two, rescued Rottweilers :).
*Department of Environment figures, http://www.environ.ie