THE USPCA have voiced concern after 14 Chihuahuas were handed into a local animal shelter this week.
On Tuesday, Grovehill Animal Trust revealed that up to £4,000 may be needed in veterinary bills for the pups, which are suffering from a number of medical problems.
It is unknown where the pups came from, but a USPCA spokesperson said that due to the number of animals rescued at the one time, it indicated that an organised dog breeder facility, or potentially an illegal puppy farm, could have been involved.
“Fourteen Chihuahuas from a single source is certainly a remarkable number and indicative of breeding,” the USPCA spokesperson told the UH. “The breed is scarce and popular. Small ‘designer’ dogs are in demand, and Christmas is just around the corner.
“Any pups would fetch high prices here, even higher in the UK.”
He added, “The USPCA is opposed to factory farming of pets. Tyrone has both registered breeders and puppy mills operating in the area.”
Janice Porter, who is chairperson of Grovehill, said that it would cost the shelter approximately £250 for each Chihuahua rescued.
This is because each dog needs to be vaccinated, spayed or neutered, micro-chipped, wormed, groomed and de-flead – while others need to be treated for dental problems, ear mites and chest infection issues – before they are in tip-top shape, and ready to be rehomed.
“We don’t know who owned them, or who had them left at the shelter and we don’t believe the dogs to be local,” Janice said.
“However we did get a phone call asking from help, and we just couldn’t turn the dogs away.
“On Tuesday morning, all the dogs were vet-checked, and many of them require dental work.
“Their wee paws are the size of my thumbs, but many of their nails have grown long and curled back into their paw pads which would be very painful.”
She added, “But the dogs are beautiful, and some are just so friendly.
They are all different shades and ages, and there is a mix of male and female dogs which we have separated
until they have been spayed and neutered.”
It is hoped that the dogs will be ready in a few weeks’ time to be rehomed.
In the meantime, in a bid to raise as much money as possible for the rescued Chihuahuas, Grovehill co-ordinator, Richard Robinson has set up a JustGiving link where you can donate to the worthy cause: www/justgiving.com/campaigns/ charity/grovehillanimaltrust/chihuahua2017