Search icon


01st Sep 2023

Animal shelter uses AI to show how dog would look if her ears weren’t cropped

Fiona Frawley

dog ears cropped ai

The cruel practice can result in life-long pain and potential infection for dogs.

Last month, a new legislation enforcing restrictions on people in possession of dogs with cropped ears made headlines.

Cropping is the practice of cutting off part or all of a dog’s ears, and sometimes bracing any remaining part of the ear to stick upwards. The act has been widely condemned by animal rights charities and activists – it can result in life-long pain for affected dogs, and affects their ability to communicate with us and other animals.

Countless dogs who end up in Irish animal shelters have fallen victim to the cruel practice, including Coco, a bulldog who recently came into the care of Dogs Trust.

Coco, who Dogs Trust believe to be between 5 and 7 years old had her ears cropped before she came into their care, and the charity have used AI to show what she’d look like if the procedure hadn’t been carried out.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dogs Trust Ireland (@dogstrust_ire)

Denouncing the practice, Dogs Trust wrote:

“Poor Coco had her ears cropped before arriving into our care. Not only would this have been a painful and unnecessary procedure for Coco to go through, but it can also cause long-term pain, and prevents her from expressing some of her natural body language”.

It’s a common misconception that bulldogs are hostile or aggressive, and the act of cropping their ears is not only inhumane but also has the potential to further enforce this stereotype. Their soft, floppy ears are part and parcel of their playful, friendly temperament, and anyone who’s had experience with bull breeds will be quick to tell you how eager they are to please their humans.

The new legislation enforcing fines or potential jail time on people who own or import dogs with cropped years is due to come into effect this month.

Coco is available for adoption via Dogs Trust.

Header image via Instagram/ dogstrust_ie


– Average rent now above €1,000 in 16 counties around Ireland

– Ireland one of the best locations worldwide to invest in an Airbnb property