ANIMAL rights group Chance was delighted with the response to its protest outside County Buildings last week.
The protest is part of a peaceful campaign to allow Chance volunteers to photograph every dog entering Wicklow Pound to assist in reunification and rehoming direct from pound.
Only 11 dogs were rehomed to the public in 2010.
Formed in May of this year Chance want to tackle the issue of the high kill rate at Wicklow Pound.
Chance want to photograph every dog entering Wicklow pound and spend a short time with them to provide a good profile to be published online with a picture.
These dogs can then be rehomed direct from the pound by private individuals, or stand a better chance of being reunited with their owners.
' This is a tried, tested and proven way to improve the situation.
Currently the ISPCA is contracted by Wicklow County Council to run the pound service.
Chairperson of Chance, Alison Murphy said ' we have written to the ISPCA to no avail and have met with county council representatives who refused our request.
'We have also appealed same and had our appeal turned down.
'On the day of our protest we handed Eddie Sheehy, County Manager a 2,100 strong petition in support of our request. We await his response.
'We hope that all council members are aware that for the €200,000 a year being spent on the pound by the council a first class service with a low or no-kill rate and a responsible rehoming policy should be provided. Every dog leaving the pound should be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, deflead, wormed and micro chipped, and a home check carried out. This is not the case.
'Our volunteers visited the pound on Saturday, November 3, and photographed the dogs they were allowed to see through two layers of wire mesh in the public viewing area.
' This is obviously not what we want to do, but if we can help even the few dogs they let us see then that is something that we will do on a regular and systematic basis.
'Our volunteers were not permitted contact, nor is anyone trying to rehome a dog. It is not permitted to walk the dog or take it out.'
Chance volunteers will be holding an awareness day at Pet Depot Wicklow on Saturday, December 8 from 9am to 6pm.
Afterwards, there will be a candlelight vigil at Fitzwilliam Square (from 6pm to 7pm) to support International Animal Rights Day to stop animal abuse.
The group is planning another protest at County Buildings at 8.30am on December 17 before the council's annual budget meeting.