Damian O'Donoghue: urged caution following spate of dog thefts
Nenagh Sinn Féin representative Damian O’Donoghue has urged people to keep their dogs secure at all times amid a spate of dog thefts that is being reported across the country.
“Dog charities have been warning of an increase in cases of dogs being stolen and believe it may have something to do with an increase in the demand for dogs during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“This demand has seen the prices for dogs online increasing two or three fold. This has resulted in some opportunistic, cowardly and questionable individuals seizing the opportunity to make money by stealing animals that families, children and elderly people love and adore," said Mr O'Donoghue, who ran for Sinn Féin in the local election in 2019.
He said that many families considered their pets as part of the family unit, while many dogs provided comfort and assurance to children and adults with a range of particular needs.
Mr O’Donoghue advised anyone considering purchasing a pet, and those who are lucky enough to have one already: “Anyone who is thinking of getting a dog should ensure that they are purchasing from reputable sources, because otherwise you may actually be unknowingly contributing to the spate of dog thefts at the moment."
He appealed to those who have a dog to ensure they know where they were at all times. Otherwise, you could be leaving yourself open to heartbreak. Dog theft is a cowardly and cruel thing to do,” he said.
Mr O'Donoghue urged people to do all they can to ensure the demand for pets from disreputable sources was eliminated, and that your family pet is safe, supervised and secure.
"Don’t be afraid to contact the Gardaí if you have any concerns,” he said.