Busy Times at the Dog Pound


It was a very busy year at Monaghan County Council Dog Pound in 2023.  513 dogs were admitted during the year, a massive increase on the 382 admitted in 2022 and almost 3 times the number of dogs admitted in 2021.  Almost half of the dogs admitted to the Dog Pound in 2023 were surrendered by their owners.

Why is this?

A lot of people acquired dogs during the pandemic when they were spending more time at home.  Now that people are returning to a more traditional work pattern, some are finding that they no longer have time for their dog.  Some people chose dog breeds that were not suitable for their circumstances, for example, the dog grew too big for the space available in their house and garden.  Some people chose female dogs, but did not have them spayed (neutered).  There were 180 pups less than 6 months old admitted to the Dog Pound in 2023, 35% of the total – the highest percentage ever.  This may have been caused by the dramatic increase in inexperienced owners during the pandemic failing to take action to prevent unwanted pregnancies, leading to an increase in litters of unwanted pups, for whom they could not get new homes.  The surge in demand for dogs during the pandemic has been followed by a collapse in demand.  These factors have contributed to a massive increase in the numbers of dogs admitted to Dog Pounds and Dog Shelters across the country, and to Dog Shelters having to maintain these dogs for much longer periods before they can be rehomed to a new owner.

Reasons why dogs were surrendered to the Dog Pound

In 2023, Monaghan County Council asked owners for the reasons why they were surrendering their dogs.  The vast majority (77%) of reasons were owner issues.  The most common of these (40%) was that the owner no longer wanted the dogs.  Most of these unwanted dogs were pups that the owner was unable to get homes for.

Over 20% of owners stated that they could no longer keep their dogs.  This was mostly because of health issues, for example, the owner or a member of the owner’s family had fallen ill and was going to be ill for a prolonged period.  Other reasons included: death of the owner; owner moving into a nursing home; owner moving house; pressure from landlord or neighbours; new baby in the house.  8 owners said the dog had grown too big for their house or garden space.  1 owner cited financial issues.

Around 10% of owners stated that they no longer had enough time to look after their dog, or that there was no one at home to mind the dog.

Just over 20% of dogs were surrendered because of behavioural issues.  Roaming was the most common complaint.  The dog could not be kept at home, mostly because the owner did not have a secure area, but in some cases because the dog was able to dig or jump out of its pen.  Too lively and rough was another common complaint – this mainly related to larger dogs either jumping on children, or pulling too hard on the lead, or tripping up the owner.  Some dogs were too difficult for the owner to handle, sometimes because it had become aggressive with family members or with other animals, or because it was overly protective, or because the dog could not be left alone.  Some dogs had been recently acquired by the owner and were not mixing or settling in well with other pets in the family.

Of the 513 dogs admitted to Monaghan County Council Dog Pound in 2023, 31 dogs were reclaimed by their owners; 10 dogs were euthanised – 7 of these because they had attacked sheep, 1 had bitten a cyclist and 2 were very aggressive towards other dogs.  Of the remainder, 257 were rehomed to members of the public and 209 were transferred to Carrick Dog Shelter.  Carrick Dog Shelter then transferred dogs to other rescues around the country for rehoming.

Advice for prospective dog owners:

If you are planning to acquire a dog, ensure that:

  • You have adequate space and shelter to accommodate and securely enclose your dog when it reaches its full adult size.
  • You understand the dog’s needs in terms of feeding, exercise and shelter at the various stages of its life. Certain breeds require a far higher level of daily stimulation and exercise than others.
  • You have a basic understanding of dog behaviour and how to encourage good behaviour and discourage bad behaviour.
  • You check out the websites and Facebook pages of local Dog Pounds and Dog Rescues on a regular basis – they may have just the dog you are looking for! They will also be able to advise you on what kind of dog will best suit your circumstances.

If you have a dog that you do not plan to breed from, ensure that it is neutered as soon as possible.  Most small and medium-sized breeds can be neutered at around 6 months of age.  Larger breeds should not be neutered until 12 – 18 months of age, to avoid interference with their growth and development.  Your vet will advise you on the best time to neuter your dog.

If you plan to breed from your dog, ensure that you will be able to source homes for the puppies.  Once you have finished breeding your dog, ensure that it is neutered as soon as possible.

Monaghan County Council is now offering a €100 spay refund voucher with every female dog that is rehomed from the Dog Pound.  This allows the owner to apply for a refund of €100 when they pay a vet to neuter their female dog within 6 months of rehoming the dog from the Dog Pound.