More than 170 dogs in Cookstown have not been reclaimed from the local Pound over the last two years it has been revealed.
The USPCA (Ulster Society Prevention and Cruelty to Animals) released the statistics ahead of its forthcoming hard hitting advertising campaign to appeal to the Northern Ireland public to be aware of the tragic consequences of puppy farming.
The Charity’s campaign supports the airing of a shocking expose by the BBC on Wednesday 15th April at 9pm on BBC1 into the multi million pound dog trade generated from secretive breeding establishments commonly known as puppy farms.
A third of all breeds bought today are believed to have come from puppy farms.
The programme follows the supply chain and the profit-driven puppy farmers getting rich from this ruthless business.
The programme exposes Northern Ireland biggest dog trafficker and uncovers breeding facilities operating on a scale the experts didn’t believe existed in the UK until now.
The USPCA believe these puppy farms contribute directly to Northern Ireland having the worse stray dog figures in the United Kingdom leading to the destruction of thousands of healthy dogs by the Councils here every year.
Stephen Philpott from the USPCA paid tribute to triple BAFTA award winning BBC presenter Sam Poling.
He said: “This programme is the result of years of hard work and research into this disgusting trade.
“The commitment and dedication shown by the BBC team to shine a light on this most secretive and covert industry is highly commendable.”
Complaints continue to pour into the USPCA on a daily basis from distraught consumers whose dogs are sick and dying
He went on to add: “This programme demands a response from the legislative assembly in NI, the only acceptable answer will be increased regulation of this totally unnecessary business activity.
We welcomed new legislation back in 2012 to protect animals but sadly this is not being adequately enforced.
“Complaints continue to pour into the USPCA on a daily basis from distraught consumers whose dogs are sick and dying.
Meanwhile other members of the public think they can dump their family pet on the welfare organisations for no other reason than they have bought a new pup.”
Across the British Isles the Special Investigation Units attached to the National Societies are reporting puppy farming as the number one abuse of animals and it is now on an unprecedented commercial scale.
The USPCA advises anyone wanting to acquire a pet to seek advice from their local vet and never, ever buy a puppy from an online Ad.
Mr Philpott added: “The selling of animals online is like the wild west, our research has shown that you cannot put any faith in or rely upon the documents supplied with these animals.
The vast majority are forgeries and this is fraud on an industrial scale.”
For more information about the puppy farming industry and its side effects please watch ‘The Dog Factory’ on BBC NI at 9pm on Wednesday 15th April 2015.