The Control of Dogs Act, 1986 sets out the legislation regarding how dogs which are seized or detained by local authorities or surrendered to local authorities are dealt with. It is a matter for each local authority to establish and maintain shelters for their particular areas. The majority of local authorities, including Wicklow County Council, operate cooperatively with dog welfare organisations and together they work to reduce the number of dogs entering the local authority pound system being put to sleep.
Nationally, the total number of dogs being put to sleep has reduced significantly over the years, from a figure of 27,570 in 1998. In 2012 the total number of dogs put to sleep was 4,904, which itself was a 20% reduction on the 2011 figure. The Wicklow dog shelter does not have a significantly higher than average put to sleep rate compared to other dog shelters; the rate in Wicklow is about half the national average. Full details of dog control statistics, including the figures for dogs put to sleep in Wicklow, are available on my Department’s website: http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/StatisticsandRegularPublications/DogControl/.