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Thursday 22 March 2018

Old message is still true -- a puppy's not just for Christmas

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

That old message still rings true -- puppies are for life and not just for Christmas.

That is the message from animal lover Gina Hetherington, who shares her Tipperary home with abandoned dogs.

She runs Paws Animal Rescue Centre in Mullinahone, Co Tipperary, where up to 500 dogs are nourished back to health every year before being re-homed in Ireland and abroad.

Half of the dogs Gina takes in are unwanted greyhounds but she is seeing an increasing number of "posh dogs", such as St Bernards, German Shepherds, Great Danes and Shih Tzus, as their owners can't afford to feed them. "I don't know why they can't go into Lidl and buy some dog food but they just don't want the hassle any more," she said.

Paws relies heavily on donations from the public. It costs around €287,000 a year to run the centre, which employs five and cares for up to 80 dogs at any one time. This year Gina is anxiously waiting to hear if her government grant has been slashed. Last year, it plunged from €25,000 to €18,000.

Irish Independent

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