funding of up to €20,000 to local animal charity Madra to help it cope with the influx of stray and abandoned dogs in the city.
Madra had sought €10,000 in funding from the city council earlier this year following the closure of the city’s dog pound for several weeks for renovation and upgrading, putting additional pressure on the charity.
The charity had also condemned the city’s high kill rate for surrendered dogs; at 47 per cent the city has the second highest rate of dogs being put to sleep in the country.
At a meeting to consider and adopt the city council’s 2016 budget on Monday, it was agreed to provide €20,000 in funding for 2016, to be made available in four quarterly payments of €5,000.
The funding was proposed by the council’s ruling pact of Fine Gael, Labour, and Independent councillors as part of a number of amendments to the budget.
Driving the proposal was FG Cllr Pearce Flannery who had been key to its implementation since the Spring. He was also the proposer of the motion to ban animal circuses from publicly owned lands, last year.
Other amendments included €10,000 for repairs to St Patrick’s Brass Band Hall, €40,000 for a 1916 memorial arch, and €40,000 for a feasibility study of the city’s canals and waterways.
The Madra funding will be split into four quarterly payments as the council plans to partner with a charity next year to address dog welfare in the city jointly. City council chief executive Brendan McGrath said on Monday that the funding would be extraneous if Madra was not the charity in this partnership.
“I had a very positive meeting with Madra last week,” Mr McGrath said. “I made it clear it is the intent that council would be looking to enter into partnership with a charity. If a dog charity comes in other than Madra to help us run the pound you would not, in my view, need to continue with a contribution to another charity.”
Madra has welcomed the funding, and the council’s commitment to improve the city’s euthanasia rate.
“We are delighted to have received the funding,” a spokesperson for Madra said. “It demonstrates a significant desire by the council to work with rescues and reduce the euthanasia rate.”
Madra has taken 19 dogs from the city pound so far this year; last year, it rescued 26 dogs from the pound.