The Wexford Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is appealing to pet owners to neuter and spay their cats and dogs in order to prevent over breeding and the resultant abandonment of animals.
Brigid Cullen said the WSPCA is inundated with animals at the moment, particularly cats and kittens, which are proving very difficult to re-home.
'The problem is that people don't neuter their cats. They end up having kittens and then they have kittens and, all of sudden, there's 16 cats and they're all wild. We go out, we catch them and neuter/spay them but we can't find homes for them because they're wild.'
She pointed out that at one stage in the past year, they had had 135 cats and 115 dogs in their shelter.
The WSPCA's neighbours, O'Shea and Bramley Veterinary Hospital subsequently held a fundraiser, the proceeds of which were used to subsidise the neutering of animals in the WSPCA's care. This, she said, was done regularly throughout the year.
However, while cost is often mooted as a factor, Brigid explained that she had been given ten vouchers from the Dog's Trust to cover the neutering and microchipping of animals and she had only used eight of them so far.
'I must have rang 100 people to ask them to come in. Some said yeah and then never turned up on the day. It's such a journey to get people to take up the offer. I think people put it on the long finger, or some nearly want us to go out and collect the pet and bring it in - we don't have the resources to do that.'
She added that microchipping was still not being done despite the fact that it was the law, or, where the dog was sold by a breeder, owners were not registering their own name on the chip.
'You have situations where we're contacting breeders to ask who they sold the dog to but they don't know because they're dealing in lots of dogs and litters.'
She said that while the issue of unwanted puppies and dogs had eased somewhat, there was still a considerable problem with people buying dogs from rogue breeders and running into problems thereafter.
'People will go and meet a 'nice man' in a car park, buy a dog, no contact card, no papers and then they'll discover that the dog is sick or dying or has some other issue.'
Despite the unrelenting pressure on the WSPCA services, Brigid complimented the people of Wexford who, she said, were fantastic in their support for the service.
She pointed to one instance in recent months when a dog she had rescued needed an operation that was set to cost €2,000.
'Within a few weeks, from people dropping in with donations, we had enough to pay for the procedure. People are so good. There are so many worthy causes out there but people always support us and we're so grateful for that.'
If you are able to help the WSPCA, either by making a donation, offering foster places, or by offering a dog a new home, please contact 053 91 43919.