WITH 59 reports of missing dogs over a ten-day period this month, Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW) say that they have no space to house the huge number of lost canines that are constantly landing on their doorstep.
Marion Fitzgibbon of LAW is urging pet owners to make sure their pooches have collars and tags with a contact telephone number in case they go missing.
LAW’s Kilfinane sanctuary, which has the capacity to house 40 dogs, is currently caring for double that with 80 dogs currently in residence.
According to Ms Fitzgibbon, the sanctuary has been overrun with stray and missing dogs to such a degree that it is infringing on the normal running of the charity’s County Limerick base. She describes the situation as “beyond critical”.
“We have absolutely no space. All our pens are full and now we have dogs in our outdoor runs now too. We were inundated with dogs after the recent storm but there’s no storm now and still they keep coming,” said Ms Fitzgibbon.
“Dogs are not being microchipped because people don’t have the money. Everyone is broke but if people put a collar and tag on their dogs it would help enormously. It’s not fair on the animals, it’s not fair on the families and it’s not fair on us,” she declared.
According to Ms Fitzgibbon, the fact that the city dog pound is only open for 90 minutes, from 9.30 to 11am, from Monday to Friday does not help the situation either.
“People bring stray animals down to the pound and leave them by the roadside when they find out that its not open. It’s only a matter of time before dogs wander out onto the nearby motorway and cause a major accident.
It costs Limerick Animal Welfare €50,000 per month to carry out their work. The charity claims it is already €35,000 in the red for 2014.
LAW also spend €100,000 a year on veterinary costs but are hoping to have their own in-house veterinary clinic open by the end of the year to help reduce that expenditure.