LIMERICK Animal Welfare is trying to deal with an overcrowding crisis at its sanctuary in Kilfinane and is running “in the red every month”, according to its founder.
“Numbers are critical at the minute. We’re worried because, coming up to Halloween, we expect another influx of dogs,” revealed Marion Fitzgibbon.
“Traditionally we wouldn’t be overcrowded at this time of year. Rehoming dogs usually picks up around mid-September when everybody is back from holiday, but we didn’t really get any increase this year.”
LAW’s dog unit usually caters for a maximum of 45 dogs, however in recent weeks there have been between 80 and 100 dogs housed at the sanctuary; there are also more than 100 cats at the sanctuary’s cattery, whereas the maximum number is usually about 60.
As well as the overcrowding crisis, the sanctuary has also seen a decrease in funding, which has led it to temporarily shelve plans to complete a new building.
Ms Fitzgibbon told the Limerick Post: “Our vets bills would be about €100,000 a year. We have to bring in €42,000 to €45,000 every month. If we don’t bring in €42,000, we’re in big trouble. At the moment we’re not coming anywhere near that, we’re running in the red every month, but we’re hanging in there.
“We have a beautiful new building, which we’re running out of money for. I’ve been trying to build it for four and a half years. We’re out of money again so I don’t think we’ll be able to go ahead with that at the moment. If we could open that building we’d have a huge new dog unit and a new cattery.”
LAW is appealing to anyone considering getting a dog to consider adopting a dog from the sanctuary rather than buying a puppy.
The organisation is also calling on pet owners to ensure their pets have a collar and secure identification tag if they are not microchipped, and to keep pets secure at all times, but particularly at Halloween.
Ms Fitzgibbon concluded: “We have dogs every week whose owners might be found after four or five days, but they are taking up space here. If people are more careful it could help relieve the situation.”