Ireland is in crisis when it comes to homeless animals. Our social media feeds are full of animals being neglected, in need of homes and being sold by backyard breeders.
This is why the work that organisations like the KWWSPCA do is so important.
As they face losing their shelter (no date confirmed as yet) we chatted to Animal welfare officer Shanua Byrne who explained to us the desperate situation that the KWWSPCA is facing.
Tell us a bit about the work that the KWWSPCA do
Since 1940 the Kildare and West Wicklow SPCA have been rescuing and caring for animals. Everyone who works for our society does so voluntarily. We investigate reports of animal neglect and cruelty, and help animals whose welfare is comprised.
We take most of the stray dogs from Kildare pound once they have done their mandatory time. We also have a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) team for helping feral cats.
And of course we rehabilitate the animals that come into us and find them loving forever homes either here or in Sweden.
Why does the rescue have to move premises?
Unfortunately the shelter we have been renting since 2014 is now for sale and the county council will no longer give us planning permission to stay there until the shelter is sold.
What will this mean for the animals in the local pounds?
If we have no shelter we won’t have room to take out the pound dogs. We have been working with the Pound since 2010 and the percentage of dogs put to sleep in the pound has dropped from 73% in 2010 to 6% in 2017.
On top of that the County council has plans to expand the Pound by 8 kennels which means they will take in even more dogs and without the shelter we definitely will not be able to take out the extras on top of the dogs they can currently hold.
If we have nowhere for the majority of the dogs many of them will be put to sleep unless the pound can re-home some themselves.
The staff in Kildare pound are wonderful and like us they want to see the dogs rehomed but sadly the reality will be very different without a Shelter.
What will this mean for the animals currently living at the KWWSPCA?
The loss of the shelter will mean we have to go back to relying entirely on foster homes. Our fosters are amazing but its hard work and not everyone is able to do it long term and not everyone is capable of fostering some dogs with behavioural issues that need to be worked on.
Some dogs are harder work to be rehabilitated and at first aren’t trained or used to being in a home environment. At the shelter they can be worked on by our shelter volunteers.
You need to raise 300k – what will the money be used for?
The money we raise will be used to either buy somewhere that is suitable for used as a shelter or else to buy a plot of land and build a facility.
Donate to the GoFund Me > https://www.gofundme.com/animal-shelter-appeal
If people can’t help financially is there anything else that they can do?
Anyone who can’t help financially they can spread the work, help with fundraising (if they have any ideas) if they are working in a shop they could ask the boss to let us drop in a collection tin. Talk to other staff members and ask them to donate.
We are also putting out a plea for anyone who might assist us with their unpaid skills eg. Public Relation, Planners, Builders Carpentry, Supplies.
Do you have any fund raising events coming up?
We do have a number of fundraisers organised, all of which are posted up on our Facebook page
What Can You Do To Help Right Now?
The KWWSPCA need our help. Their volunteers are not able to do this alone and neither are the animals.
- Please share their go fund me > https://www.gofundme.com/animal-shelter-appeal
- Please tell your friends and colleagues about their fundraisers
- However small – please donate what you can
- Consider being a Foster – Find out more here > https://petsittersireland.com/foster-kwwspca/