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A dog is for life, not just for Christmas, as we all know. Plenty of people got dogs in lockdown and plenty more will get them for Christmas - but, as Dogs Trust Ireland have pointed out in their festive advert this year, there's a darkness behind the joy of a new puppy.
The new ad, based on The Night Before Christmas, tells the story of puppy farms and encourages those wanting a new dog for the family to check its provenance before they take on the big responsibility.
''Sadly, for too many puppies and their mums, their Christmas story won't have a happy beginning - or a happy ending.'' they said a statement. ''In puppy farms, mums are kept as breeding machines, forced to churn out litter after litter. The health and welfare of mum and her pups sacrificed for profit.
''For too long, unscrupulous breeders have operated in the shadows, evading penalty, or punishment. 'But new laws introduced in February 2020, have banned the illegal sale, supply and advertising of dogs. 'Now we need your help to make sure these laws are enforced."
Ireland changed its laws regarding the sale of dogs earlier this year in response to the illegal sale of dogs. Those operating puppy farms often keep the dogs in cramped conditions and cages - and the Dogs Trust are launching a new petition to enforce the laws further, with dogs being traceable back to their mother.
''Cramped into small and filthy pens with little or no bedding, mums and pups are denied the basic comforts every dog deserves," say Dogs Trust Ireland. They are often kept in darkness. No feel of sunlight or warmth on their faces. Never getting to sniff the fresh air or feel soft grass or blankets under their paws. 'Their lives are brutal and cruel but it's in your power to give them a life that's worth living."
''In the run up to Christmas, thousands of puppies will be advertised for sale. Some will come from reputable breeders. Some will come from sellers who care nothing for the lives and welfare of puppies and their mums. By signing the petition today, unscrupulous breeders will have nowhere left to hide.
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