Do Unwanted Animals Need to Burn to Death to Get Noticed?

Check out this fabulous, sensitive article from Louise Glazebrook on the Huffington Post, putting into words what I’ve been thinking the past few days – Do Unwanted Dogs Need to Burn to Death to Get Noticed?

As the article says:

Following the terrible arson attack at a Manchester dog home last week, where 53 poor dogs lost their lives, it’s been incredible to see the generous, heartfelt response in the press and on social media. Many dog lovers across the UK have pulled together and raised an unbelievable £1 million to help rebuild the home after the fire. It’s a true testament to what a dog-loving nation we are. Or is it…?

It’s desperately sad that 53 dogs lost their lives in the fire. What is also desperately sad are the statistics from the annual Dogs’ Trust survey which were released last week. The figure that hurt the most was that in the UK, 21 stray dogs are put to sleep every day. Per year, our dog-loving nation puts down approx. 7,805 unwanted dogs a year.

… It’s not a fire, granted, but it’s not the way dogs should be treated in this nation of ‘dog-lovers’.

The stats mentioned reflect the situation in Ireland – 10 dogs are killed every day in Irish pounds. Every week our government kills more dogs than were killed in Manchester. There are no national stats on feline deaths, but it’s estimated 180,000 kittens die every year on these shores (note that’s not including adult cats).

I, too, would like to see

proper investigation, prevention and investment on making dog rehoming centres redundant because they are no longer required to deal with the disposable dogs that our society casts aside on a daily basis.

I’d also like to see cat rescues and TNR groups made redundant for parallel reasons.

The solutions include population control through neutering and spayingTrap Neuter Return and more adoptions from rescues rather than breeders; decent legislation; enforcement of that legislation, and; more than four ISPCA inspectors.

This September 25th, Remember Me Thursday is promoting an international adoption awareness drive in an attempt to address one of these issues – we’ll be writing more on that later today. It’s an American initiative that’s relevant internationally. Your participation would be fantastic!

For any change to happen the issues need to be highlighted and protested clearly and regularly by a responsible public. That’s you!

If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito ~ Anita Roddick

In Memoriam

Remembering the 53 dogs lost to arson in Manchester Dogs’ Home. And remembering all the companion animals who never found a forever home.

Related Links

Posted in Animal Welfare Issues, Breeds & Breeding, What You Can Do.


  1. I agree that neutering is the right thing to do. but there are other points. first many lost pets end up in kill pounds and die because they are not chipped and owners cannot be traced. chipping your pet is a part of loving it. second, Ireland’s pound kill nearly two thirds of the dogs they receive. the ratio in some pounds is in the 80%-90% – cork is a notorious but not unique example. Monaghan is an example of best practice. for all pounds there should be transparency concerning the dogs in pounds web cams and cctv and the obligation to photograph and post all animals can do that. way the public can monitor conditions and see dogs that could be saved. the staff in pounds should be motivated by reward for homing rather than destroying animals. lastly the time allowed for adoption or rehoming by private animal rescues should be set for all pounds and strictly monitored. in general Ireland in this regard is on a par with worst not best practice in its pound practices. Of course its animal welfare laws are also a disgrace for a “civilised” so called compassionate (sic) society.

    • I totally agree with you David – I do my best to cover all the issues on these pages, though I’m primarily interested in TNR (Trap Neuter Return).

      I’ve some info on microchipping here

      I’ve been looking at the pound stats as they come out for the past couple of years. It’s improved enormously since 2005, when they first started online. But has obviously miles to go yet – on average ten dogs were killed every day in Irish pounds in 2013 – I’ve analysed Cork, Co Cork and Nationwide stats from 2005 to 2013 here if you’re interested.

      Nationally, the kill rate is more like 23% now compared to 65% in 2005. The Cork City pound is actually one of the better ones and the Cork County is one of the worst. And you’re quite right some pounds are in the 80-90s.

      Note this is just pound stats and doesn’t include rescues or, for that matter, anything about cats.

      Totally with you on the cctv – I saw a petition about it recently but haven’t followed it up yet.

      Lastly, I’m just publicising a campaign to highlight adoption rather than breeding – initiated in the US, but relevant internationally. Find out more here:

      Thanks for your input and care!

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