Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath wants extra resources to deal with dog thefts
Gardaí along with Tipperary County Council are to set up multi-agency checkpoints to combat dog thefts in the county.
The news comes this Tuesday afternoon after local Independent TD Mattie McGrath writing to Tipperary garda superintendent Derek Smart and the Tipperary County Council dog warden calling for extra resources and checkpoints to be deployed to deal with the rising level of dog thefts in the county and across Ireland.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after a number of worried Tipperary constituents contacted him due to an increasing number of reports of dog thefts and missing dogs circulating on social media.
“It is a huge worry for dog owners given the absolute brazenness of those engaged in dog thefts. We have seen reports of houses and estates being marked in advance to indicate the numbers of dogs present. These houses are then later targeted by thieves who have absolutely no regard for the animal or their owners,” Deputy McGrath said.
The Tipperary TD described dog thefts as a “major problem” at present and that there must be some immediate action taken to deter these “ruthless individuals”.
Deputy McGrath said: “The rise in thefts is directly linked to the rise in demand for dogs and those willing to pay large sums of money for a dog and this must be discouraged.
By handing over money for dogs, not only are they encouraging illegal breeding practices but they are directly contributing to the large rise in robberies and heartbreak for families as their precious family pets are stolen.
“Animal rescues are full of dogs who are no longer wanted and individuals should seek to adopt a pet from these shelters in the first instance rather than purchase as there would be a huge reduction in thefts if there was no market. Unfortunately, dogs are also sought for bait and used in dog fighting, and those involved in this practice cannot be allowed to continue to act above the law.”
Deputy McGrath said the law must be changed to increase the seriousness of the crime of stealing a dog. “I hope that this can be addressed in the next Dáil term, but in the interim I have called on Tipperary gardaí and Tipperary County Council to work together to clamp down on this issue urgently through the establishment of checkpoints and having a greater presence in areas that are being targeted,” Deputy McGrath said.
“This is a very difficult time for everyone, without the added pressure of worrying about the safety of family pets and the huge anxiety and upset that is being caused by these thefts. Dog owners need extra reassurance that this matter is being taken seriously.”