A large number of ‘failed’ sheepdogs are being surrendered at the Donegal Dog Pound in Letterkenny.
Donegal Animals in Need, the local charity which works closely with the pound, said the overall number of dogs being rescued is rising again.
It had dropped drastically as people looking for pet dogs during the Covid pandemic shot up.
A spokesperson for DAIN said “As predicted, as restrictions ease and people return to work, some owners are finding that they no longer have time for their pup, who is now a young dog, and the number of dogs being surrendered or left in the Letterkenny Pound is rising.”
The spokesperson added the majority of the dogs rescued in Donegal are collies, many of them left in the Pound because they have not made the grade as sheepdogs.
However, as collies are much prized pets in the UK, many of the rescued dogs are transferred to Collie Rescue UK and found suitable homes.
The spokesperson added “Many of these ‘failed sheepdogs’ go on to excel in agility classes and competitions, which is a perfect way to keep these highly intelligent, active dogs happy and entertained.”
Three collies in Letterkenny have recently received their Pet Passports and will travelling to Collie Rescue shortly and another three dogs were rehomed locally last week to new owners.
Overall the rise in dogs being surrendered once again is worrying.
The animal charity said that after a fairly quiet year on the dog front, dog rescues are on the increase.
The spokesperson said “The past year has been a peculiar one in dog rescue as, for the first time ever, the demand for dogs exceeded the number of dogs available as people took on a canine companion during lockdown.
“For the first time since the charity began 15 years ago, there were no pups to rescue.
“Usually, pups are regularly left in the Letterkenny Pound, sometimes whole litters of them, but this year it is believed they were sold instead, often for extortionate sums.
“The dogs we rescued last year were often old or had health problems and needed to spend a long time in foster homes before they could be rehomed or they became permanent foster dogs.
“Rehoming in itself became an issue as due to Covid restrictions, home checks could not be carried out on potential owners and only those already approved could adopt dogs.
“Brexit posed its own set of problems as transporting dogs to new homes in the UK became a major operation with a mountain of additional paperwork on top of travelling restrictions.”