Maureen has always been an animal rescuer. As a small child she could not bear to see any animal lost or neglected and used to bring dogs home on a regular basis for her father to find homes for. She also said us she had once, mistakenly, tried to rehome the local priests cat! No doubt the cat was restored to its presbytery when the mistake was discovered.Since the tThe Animal Trust Fund made its annual award to a dedicated animal rescuer and carer for animals, Mrs Maureen Scanlon of Gurteen, Co. Sligo. The event took place at Markree Castle and two of the Trustees, Robert Nicholson and Olive McKinley, made the presentation to Maureen.
Maureen has always been an animal rescuer. As a small child she could not bear to see any animal lost or neglected and used to bring dogs home on a regular basis for her father to find homes for. She also said us she had once, mistakenly, tried to rehome the local priest’s cat! No doubt the cat was restored to its presbytery when the mistake was discovered.
Since the time when the Sligo SPCA received a substantial legacy from the late Annie Finnegan, with which it set up the present animal shelter in Coolaney, Maureen has been an active member of that society and later became Shelter Manager for a short period.
Her dedication was such that even though she was not paid for working a full day, she continued to work until late in the evenings on many occasions when she should have been at home and would still have had all her own animals to exercise and feed as well when she got back.
“She is one of those special people who do this work for the sake of the animals because they have no voice to protest if they are neglected, injured or cruelly treated. Human beings can object if they are injured, they can take people to court if there is injustice in their treatment, they can protest loudly if they have been hurt. Animals never can. They are dependent upon our willingness to be their protectors and helpers when they are in need. And Maureen Scanlon is a shining example of this’’, said Olive McKinley.
The Animal Trust Fund makes a presentation annually to someone who has shown exceptional devotion to the cause of animal welfare in this country. The Fund was originally set up after World War II in order to save horses the Post Office were sending to the UK for slaughter when postal deliveries had become motorised.
A group of ladies actually went to the quayside in Dublin and lay down on the road to prevent the loading of the unfortunate horses. These they had then to purchase and also to find people with land on which to keep them. Many people gave generously for this purpose and the resulting fund even exceeded the amount required and so was eventually re-titled to extend to all animals. Due to falling interest rates the Fund is now dwindling rapidly but will not fail to recognise the efforts of those who give so much more than money to help animals in need.