independent

Wednesday 22 May 2019

AGM hears of over 550 cats re-homed by North Wexford sanctuary

North Wexford SPCA AGM in the Loch Garman Arms, outgoing committee, front row: Teresa Kirwan, Eimear McGrath, Joe Murray and Tracy Smith. Back: Siobhan Ryan, Sinead O’Connor and Patsy Kenny
North Wexford SPCA AGM in the Loch Garman Arms, outgoing committee, front row: Teresa Kirwan, Eimear McGrath, Joe Murray and Tracy Smith. Back: Siobhan Ryan, Sinead O’Connor and Patsy Kenny

Cathy Lee

North Wexford Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals held its AGM in the Loch Garman Arms Hotel on Thursday April 25, with upwards of 40 people in attendance.

'The room was filled with loyal supporters and our fantastic volunteers, who were all recognised for their efforts and received an award for their hard work and commitment,' said Gareth Whelan, inspector at the North Wexford SPCA.

There are over 100 volunteers, and each volunteer helps out the society weekly by taking turns walking dogs, who go for their walks three times a day.

The cattery must be cleaned, the animals must be socialised and taken to veterinary appointments for their injections.

'We'd be lost without the volunteers, and with this type of work, the more volunteers we have the better,' said Gareth Whelan.

Looking back on the year, a highlight for the NWSPCA was upgrading the old kennels and getting new kennels installed on the premises.

Gareth explained this saved a lot of money and will do so going forward, as the society do not have to pay out to private kennels to house the animals and rely less on fostering.

'It really took the pressure off and every penny counts here,' said Gareth Whelan.

'What everyone was surprised by at the AGM was the amount of animals we've re-homed but particularly cats, over 550 in total,' he added.

'It's really unheard of as we wouldn't normally have so many cats, it's an explosion,' said Gareth.

Gareth is an inspector with the society, and so answers public calls on instances of abandonment, neglect and other issues.

Depending on the issue, Gareth and the team can pass on the case to the dog warden of the guards, or often just offer advice to people.

Gareth said that people need to be aware of the issue that is present in Wexford around abandonment of pets, particularly after peak times like Christmas and summer time holidays.

'We are getting a lot more animals, and this meant we had to pay a lot out on veterinary bills this year, upwards of €77,600, the cost of this is colossal and it has gone up since last year,' said Gareth Whelan.

Gareth explained that the active work of the NWSPCA is all about securing funding through the local shop and donations from the public, and fundraising events like most recently Yogathon, on the streets and through bag packing means everything to the society.

Next up, the NWSPCA annual sponsored dog walk will take place on May 19 at 2 p.m. beginning in the car park outside Maxi Zoo and walking out to Kia-ora pet farm. Sponsorship cards can be picked up from the NWSPCA shop, and refreshments will be available for humans and dogs on the day.

Gorey Guardian

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