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For Dog’s Sake, DAFM, Prove You Care!

Ireland is facing an animal welfare crisis. The Department of Agriculture is not only turning a blind eye to this crisis, but actively contributing to it. Now they’re hosting a children’s art contest in the name of Animal Welfare Awareness Day 2022. To be clear - we have no objection to children's art contests - what we object to is the DAFM using this as an opportunity to effectively greenwash their lack of concern for animal welfare.

We’ve had enough.


Ireland’s dog shelters are facing a pandemic of their own, and it’s only getting worse. The boom in puppies bred, and purchased, over lockdown has combined with the cost of living crisis to create a perfect storm that Ireland’s rescue centres simply aren’t equipped to deal with. The number of dogs being surrendered or abandoned is at an all-time high and The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) shows no intention of offering the lifeline that is so desperately needed.

In fact, not only do they seem ambivalent to the catastrophic overcrowding of shelters, but they are actively funding an industry that not only contributes to the number of dogs in rescues and pounds, but that is also linked to the death of 6,000 dogs a year. Not to mention horrible discoveries such as those in Kildare this year where the remains of several greyhounds were found in a bog near the racing stadium.


Yep. DAFM pours almost 18 million euros a year into supporting Ireland’s greyhound racing industry, where greyhounds are exploited while they are profitable, then dumped in shelters, or killed. In contrast, DAFM only gives 3.8 million euros a year for ALL rescue centres in Ireland to share. If that isn’t enough to make you sick to your stomach, they’re now running a children’s art contest in support of Animal Welfare Awareness Day 2022. The hypocrisy is deafening.

Oh, and to underscore just how tone deaf they are, the prize for the winner is a trip to the zoo. Yay, look kids! Animals in captivity!

We are infuriated that they have the audacity to preach a commitment to animal welfare while so blatantly turning their backs on Ireland’s rescue dogs and the organisations trying to help them. This is far from the example we want to be setting for children, and an entirely distorted definition of ‘animal welfare’ to teach them. So, we’re running our own exciting art contest! You can read more about it further down.


SO, we’re calling on people to object to DAFM’s behaviour and send the clear message that the public will not tolerate it any longer. How, you ask?

EMAIL: We want to flood their ridiculous contest with images of what really matters, the dogs. Find a photo of a dog waiting for a home in Ireland (either online, on social media, or take your own) and email it to them at with a demand that they take action.

SOCIALS: Join our social media campaign and share your images with the hashtag #DAFMproveyoucare and help us raise awareness of this issue. Don't forget to tag us @the_animal_advocacy_project so we can give you big love!


Our alternative art competition is open for children in the UK and Ireland aged up to 12. Send us your animal or nature related artwork (it can be anything! Drawings, sculptures, paintings) and we’ll pick one winner to receive an awesome bundle of art supplies!

TO ENTER: Send a picture of your artwork to and don’t forget to include your name and age. Winners will be announced after 21/11/22. Please be aware that by entering you are granting us permission to post the images you send on our website or social media channels.


If you're considering adding a doggo to your family, please remember to adopt, don't shop.

To support our mission and help us make the world a kinder place for animals, you can donate here. Any amount is monumentally appreciated.

As always, a HUGE thank you for helping us make change in the world, you guys are the best and we love you. Keep fighting the good fight!


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