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ISPCA objects to today’s misleading Irish Mail on Sunday article

The ISPCA objects strongly to the sensationalist nature and tone of the article that appeared in today’s Irish Mail on Sunday, 24th June 2012

Last week five questions were put to the ISPCA in relation to this article. The replies submitted by the ISPCA were used by the Mail on Sunday in a selective and incomplete manner. The article is therefore inaccurate, misleading and wholly misrepresents the work and ethos of the ISPCA. In order to clarify the context of the comments attributed to the ISPCA in today's article we feel it necessary to print in full the questions posed by the Mail on Sunday and the ISPCA's corresponding replies. The ISPCA is angered and frustrated by the selective, sensationalist and incomplete reporting evident in today's Mail on Sunday article. Full correspondence between the ISPCA and the Mail on Sunday is set out below and for clarity purposes the images used by the Mail on Sunday in today's article are more than two years old.


1) Why is it that all greyhounds at the pound are put to sleep and no attempts are made to rehome them?


It is not a case that the pound will not make any attempt to rehome Greyhounds but it is extremely difficult to find homes for that type of dog. Irish people just have not embraced Greyhounds as pets.


The Clare Dog Pound works with a number of local rescues in an effort to find homes for Greyhounds that are available for rehoming but many Greyhound owners surrender their unwanted dogs to the pound on condition that they be put to sleep.


2) Is it appropriate, as shown in the pictures below, that so many dogs are kept in the one kennel? Surely as an organisation, the ISPCA can't defend the appalling conditions these dogs are kept in?


There is a one hour window when Greyhound owners can deliver those dogs that they want humanely destroyed. The dogs are then held in a kennel for that hour.


3) Why does one dog have a kennel to themselves? Photograph attached, which is believed to have been taken on the same night. Was this dog privately kennelled?


Greyhounds were bred for hunting and that instinct is strong in many of the breed. They do not necessarily distinguish between a rabbit and a cat or a small dog. It would be reckless and irresponsible to house a number of Greyhounds whose temperaments are unknown with a small dog. 


4) Why does the Ennis pound have such a high figure of destroyed dogs?


The pound's record in reuniting / rehoming dogs is actually excellent with a figure of 641 for 2011. However, the number entering the pound was over 1200 which is 5 times as much as some other counties. This is an example of where comparing percentages is not appropriate. When you consider that Dogstrust Ireland, an excellent organisation specialising in rehoming dogs with over 30 animal care staff, aims to rehome 1000 dogs per annum, the numbers rehomed from Clare pound are quite impressive.


5) Why does the ISPCA allow their pound to charge owners to destroy greyhounds for a small fee?


Over the years we have seen many Greyhounds abandoned, living and dead. As they are tattooed in their ears, some have been mutilated to prevent identification. There have been cases when this was done post mortem but we have also found live dogs with their ears cut off or burned with acid. Recently, there was the grim discovery in a quarry in Limerick where Greyhounds had been shot.


This policy was an attempt to avoid this sort of situation by offering those with unwanted Greyhounds the option of bringing the dogs to the pound when the vet would be in attendance so they can be humanely PTS. This policy is not limited to Clare or ISPCA pounds.
 Perhaps people need to be asking why there are so many unwanted Greyhounds in the first place and why an industry that is so heavily subsidised with tax-payer's money is not investing more heavily in trying to alleviate the situation.


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