Some 14,559 dogs were seized or surrendered in 2014 by pounds across the country, according to the Department of the Environment.

This is down 922 dogs from the 2013 figures where 15,481 dogs were seized or surrendered by pounds.

Statistics on dog control released by the Department show that 6,238 dogs were transferred to welfare groups last year.

Some 5,381 dogs were re-homed or re-claimed and 2,896 dogs were put to sleep in 2014.

Wexford had the highest number of dogs seized (862) or surrendered (425) a total of 1,287 dogs.

Mayo had the least amount of dogs seized or surrendered with a total of 180 dogs brought to the pounds.

There were two closure orders issued last year, one in Co. Cork and one in Co. Wexford, there were no closure orders issued last year, the statistics show.

There are now 35 dog shelters/ pounds in the country, last year there were 37, the statistics show.

Some 46 people are employed full-time in dog shelters in Ireland, there are 19 part-time staff employed and across the country there are collection 50 vans.

In 2014 there were 190,833 individual licences issued to people in the country, a decrease from the 191,403 issued in 2013, the statistics show.

Earlier this year, a Carlow puppy farm was shut down where conditions were said to be “absolutely horrendous” where 340 dogs were seized following a closure order, the ISPCA said.

Numerous ISPCA Officers, as well as Gardaí and officials from the Department of Agriculture and the Local Authority were involved in the operation which took place over a nine day period, the ISPCA said.

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said that the operation has been extremely challenging for the ISPCA as a whole and for the individuals involved at a personal level.

“The conditions in this dog breeding establishment were absolutely shocking and it was imperative that it be shut down,” he said.