Dogs Trust is hoping to gather 15,000 signatures on its new online petition that calls for an end to puppy farming in Ireland.

"We can stop these horrific puppy farms and the illegal sale of dogs in Ireland," the petition, which was launched on November 8, says. "We can end the deafening silence once and for all."

We need YOUR help to #EndPuppyFarming in Ireland. Please be the voice for the voiceless dogs and puppies by signing our petition to create a different type of demand – a demand to eradicate puppy farming in Ireland.
Sign the petition and please retweet:

— Dogs Trust Ireland (@DogsTrust_IE) November 8, 2021

Dogs Trust Ireland says it has cared for 130 victims of illegal puppy farming so far this year.

"The dogs suffered from matted coats, caked in their own excrement, overgrown nails, dental disease, ear infections, skin infections and were described by our Veterinary and Behaviour teams as ‘terrified’ of human contact," the charity said.

"So bad was the condition of the dogs’ coats, many had to be shaved upon arrival."

Speaking about the newly-launched campaign, Executive Director, Dogs Trust Ireland, Becky Bristow said: “While the term ‘puppy farm’ may conjure images of fluffy puppies roaming free, nothing could be further from the truth. The condition of the dogs we took in was appalling. Their physical neglect and the pain many of them were in was shocking enough but their sheer terror and avoidance of humans is something that will stay with our team forever.

"When the dogs were discovered and when they arrived into our care, the silence was deafening, they were literally too afraid to bark or indeed make any sound at all. Even the sound of our footsteps approaching, had them running to hide and huddle together for comfort. It was absolutely heart breaking to witness.”

Head of Communications, Dogs Trust Ireland, Ciara Byrne added: “Sadly, the pandemic has been a puppy farmer’s dream come true. The massive demand for dogs, especially ‘designer crossbreeds, saw dogs advertised online at huge prices, meaning huge profits for many unscrupulous, greedy breeders.

"We are pleading with people who buy puppies to please source them responsibly, as failure to get them from a reputable source is supporting this abhorrent trade. It’s also creating lives of misery for the parents, especially the mums who churn out litter after litter from dark, squalid little pens.”

Dogs Trust said in its petition that each puppy farm contains hundreds of petrified dogs who are forced to "churn out litter after litter". 

The charity stated that people are not saving puppies by buying them and taking them away from the neglectful puppy farms. Instead, they are unknowingly creating more demand for illegal puppies and "supporting greedy, unscrupulous breeders who only care about profit". 

The petition states that puppies are not commodities and that dogs are not machines. 

"They deserve a full and happy life, free from neglect, pain and fear," the petition states. 

Dogs Trust is calling for an online register of all licensed dog breeders to be accessible online so that customers know where they are buying a dog from. 

For more information about the Dog Trust Ireland petition to end puppy farming, click here.