In a report taken in 2016, it was revealed that canine euthanasia rates are three times the national average within Limerick City and County.
Limerick Dog Shelter, operated by the council, said they put down 37.5 percent of the dogs they received in 2016 in comparison to the national average rate of 12.1%. Dublin hold the lowest canine euthanasia rate at 3.8%, followed by Tipperary (24.4%), and Kerry (25.5%).
The Department of Rural and Community Development Limerick revealed that on average they receive 645 dogs, of which 243 are put down, 151 are re-homed and 251 are passed onto Animal welfare groups, such as Limerick Animal Welfare.
In the year 2016, Irish pounds took in 12,549 dogs. 1,522 of these canines were put down, and 63 passed away due to natural causes. The remainder of these dogs were re-homed.
By Irish law, dogs are meant to be kept in shelters for at least 5 days before the consideration of being euthanized comes up, however, most shelters exceed this in attempts to find the dogs new homes.
Certain breeds of dogs are more difficult to rehome, and so have a higher chance of being put down, such as greyhounds and lurchers. A lot of pounds have in actual fact ceased taking in greyhounds due to this, as a lot of them are surrendered after their racing careers have ended, which usually spans for about 6 years.
Not for profit charity, Limerick Animal Welfare, are one Limerick-based charity that works with a dog pound in an attempt to decrease the starting figures of canine euthanising in Limerick.
Marion Fitzgibbon of the charity, spoke to the Irish Times in January about how the situation was improving.
According to Fitzgibbon the problem was there initially because there is a high number of dogs in circulation due to the fact that many people cannot afford to neuter or spay their pets, “the cost of spaying can be anything from €150 to €180. It could cost you your entire money for a week,” she told the Irish Times.
This isn’t helped by the recent rules of stopping over-the-counter pharmacy sales of vaccinating dogs at home.
Though this was a commonly done thing of the past, factors such as inexperienced or misinformed dog owners may not have always known fully how to properly and safely vaccinate their dogs.
Not only are these factors damaging, it also creates environmental issues. Binning these utensils such as syringes into the rubbish bin is a biohazard, and the proper disposing of these remains are essential, so they don’t reach the wrong hands.
Though over-the-counter at home vaccinations were obviously cheaper, they were never as efficient and safe for your canine, and why would one put a pet through that?
The figures, shown in the above statistics show that the number of euthanised canines is in actual fact declining. Back in the 1990s these figures were said to be over 25,000, and the national average was 73%.
There’s a decline, but why is Limerick still remarkably high compared to a national average of 12%. This decline has been helped by discounted neuter schemes, the introduction of the National Dogs Trust scheme, budgets being brought in and a regulation of puppy farms to be addressed. There is talks that the dog licence system will be readdressed, though this has yet to happen.
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