Dog rescue charity feeling the bite of insufficient shelter for strays this Christmas
By Sinead Farrell
It will be lonely this Christmas for a number of dogs in the Galway area as the Connemara-based charity MADRA struggles to contend with the sudden increase of abandoned dogs being reported in the area. Kennel vacancies and other resources are being stretched at the charity and the number of calls being received by MADRA about neglected dogs is now averaging at 50 per day.
Newly appointed chairperson of MADRA Edel Comerford commented; “This is an extremely difficult time for staff, volunteers, and all animal rescue centres across the country. The number of stray dogs being rescued by compassionate members of the public has increased dramatically over the past couple of weeks and the amount of dogs being brought into the local authority pounds is also at an all-time high.”
Ms Commerford went on to say, “It is extremely difficult for us to say no to people who have taken pity on a stray or neglected animal but we simply do not have the space or resources at the moment.”
Although they might not be able to house all the deserted dogs, the MADRA workers are taking measures to temper the swell of reported stray dogs. A special web page has been installed on the MADRA website where people can upload a picture of the stray dog they have discovered in the hopes that they will be reunited with their owner. Some people who have found these strays have volunteered to adopt them and if you do elect to do this, MADRA is urging you bring the dog to a local vet to obtain a micro-chip. It is then advisable to notify the gardai and radio stations as a means of alerting the owner to the location of their missing dog. You can also upload lost dog notices onto various animal charity websites.
For those who have discovered an unclaimed canine and are unsure as to its needs, you should consult the ‘Found Dogs’ link as part of the MADRA website. This informative page offers guidelines, direction, and clarity referring to the legal stipulations of ownership and how dog pounds work. MADRA is currently issuing an appeal to anyone with an interest in fostering a dog throughout Christmas period. Applications for this initiative should be submitted before December 18. Foster families must be willing to commit to a minimum of seven days ownership of the dog with a contingency service offered by MADRA should the dog become unwell or unsettled in its new home.
To volunteer for the foster programme email firstname.lastname@example.org. To view some of the many dogs looking for their forever homes log on to www.madra.ie Those wishing to meet a dog or volunteer to walk dogs at the Camus based centre can text 086 8149026.