BENVARDIN kennels have been treating dogs rescued from a badly-run puppy farm in Co Antrim.
Over 60 dogs were taken from the farm following an inspection carried out by USPCA officers.
A member of the public reported the puppy farm owner and as a result around 60 dogs were brought to Benvardin to be re-homed.
Louise Neill, manager of the USPCA centre, took us round the kennels last week, and told of the horrendous conditions that some of the dogs had been kept in.
She also warned anyone thinking of purchasing a dog to only deal with reputable breeders.
"They were all in a very sorry state when they arrived with us, and thanks to a member of the public who reported the conditions the puppy farm has now been closed down.
"These puppy farms often have one or two dogs that are well looked after, and that's the dogs that you see as a possible owner. The rest are kept in cramped conditions and are not looked after.
"The rescued dogs must have been kept in very cramped conditions, because they were so glad to get out into a big run when we got them," said Louise.
"The majority of the dogs are Jack Russell terriers, but there are also Schnauzers, King Charles, Shih Tzu, Kerry Blue and Rottweiler breeds.
"The dogs have all now been treated for fleas and worms and they have been clipped. They're like different dogs now."
Louise paid tribute to Jayne Moore of Canine Creations in Ballymoney and her friend Nicola Pattison, who volunteered their services for free to help treat the dogs. She also thanked the staff at Benvardin for putting in extra hours and local pet stores, Jollye's and Pets at Home who regularly donate food to the animal shelter.
"We've always had a great response from Coleraine Times readers, and we hope that many of these dogs will find new homes in the Coleraine area," said Louise.
Anyone wishing to re-home a dog should contact Louise on 07979 534 023 or email benvardinkennels.co.uk. Prospective owners may be subject to a home check and a donation towards the USPCA is required. New owners will also be given a free neutering voucher.