Hard as it is to believe when looking into the gorgeous face of little puppy, Pippa, she is still looking for her forever home.
Pippa is a three month old Labrador x collie who was found straying in the Dromod area a few weeks ago.
Because she wasn't microchipped and bore no collar, no owner has been found for this very friendly little dog.
Dog Warden, Ciara O'Kelly explained that Pippa is just one of hundreds of dogs who stray or are abandoned in the county each year.
Last year alone 445 dogs were either abandoned, lost or surrendered in Co Leitrim, ending up in the care of the Dog Warden and ultimately the Leitrim Animal Welfare Centre.
So Pippa's story isn't unusual and very sadly, more animals will probably be abandoned this year by irresponsible pet owners.
Ciara is encouraging people to be realistic about the costs and responsibility of pet ownership.
“I can appreciate why people want to get a dog but they have to really think about what kind of dog they are getting and also think about whether they actually have a lifestyle which means they can really care for a pet,” explains Ciara.
Prospective dog owners should bear in mind that the average life expectancy of a dog is between 12 to 15 years but some breeds can live up to 16 or 17 years with no major health issues.
All dogs should be neutered at 6 months of age - unless it is a pure bred show animal which could potentially be used for breeding purposes.
As of April last year all dogs over 12 weeks of age, must be microchipped and the details of the owner must be recorded in a special database. This means that, should your dog be lost or stolen, if found, it can be returned to you. It also means that if your dog is involved in attacking or worrying livestock or a bitting incident, the animal and its owner can be identified.
If you are looking at adopting a dog into your family please bear in mind:
- The cost of the annual licence fee and, if you choose, pet insurance;
- Dogs have to be vaccinated annually for a number of diseases, an ongoing cost for the life of your pet.
- Don't forget the costs of regular worming and flea/tick medications.
- Contrary to popular opinion, dogs do not get the full range of vitamins and minerals from table scraps and so dog diets should be based on specialist dog foods - an additional cost that should also be considered.
- Dogs must be properly secured which means that your yard should be fenced so your dog cannot wander. If not you may have to consider providing a secure area.
- Dogs need adequate shelter and comfort and, if your dog is mostly spending his/her time outside, this means providing a dog house so they can take refuge during bad weather.
- If you go on holidays your dog will probably spend time in a boarding kennel and this cost should also be considered.
- Dogs get sick and have accidents and getting medical care can be expensive, especially if treatment involves an operation.
All dogs adopted through Leitrim Animal Welfare are neutered, vaccinated, wormed and microchipped and there are plenty of dogs like Pippa who are looking for their forever home. All they ask is for a contribution to help cover these costs.
Leitrim Animal Welfare carry out a home check and work with prospective owners to ensure they get a dog which suits their family and their lives.
For more information on adopting a pet or to see what animals are available visit www.leitrimanimals.com or you can also see details of animals up for adoption on the facebook page at www.facebook.com/LeitrimAnimalWelfareCentre/