Local dog rescue charity MADRA has called on members of the public for their support during a period of unprecedented pressure on their services over the past fortnight.
The charity has been overwhelmed by the number of dogs and pups being abandoned in the county and is currently not in a position to take in dogs due to a lack of space and funds.
Chairperson of MADRA, Edel Comerford, said that the current situation has had a major effect on the organisation, with mounting veterinary and other expenses:
"We are currently under a great deal of pressure due to the vast number of dogs that have come in to our care. We also have a number of special case dogs that have been with us for quite some time, and due to health complaints may be with us for a good bit longer; many of these dogs have resulted in increased veterinary bills and a lack of space for other dogs in need.
"In one day alone we took in a mom and her 10 pups who had been dumped outside a local authority pound, another three pups that had been dumped on the bog, two stray terriers, a scared collie boy, a stray Labrador, and a collie that was being surrendered to us by the district nurse as her owner had taken ill. That's 19 extra mouths to feed and care for in one morning.
"We also had a call from a local authority pound to tell us that there were nine dogs waiting for us, and a call from another pound to tell us that there were three dogs waiting for us. This was all over the space of five hours, and on top of all of the dogs that are already in our care".
Last year MADRA helped to reduce the put-to-sleep rate in county Galway by a further four per cent, bringing the figure down to 14 per cent - a drop of over 70 per cent from when the charity first started working with the council in 2005. This year the charity fears that due to financial constraints they may not be able to reduce this figure further.
"We have always had great support from members of the general public, and we couldn't continue our work without their help. Our annual running costs are in excess of €150,000 with only €3,000 of this figure coming from the Department of the Environment. We try our best to give something back to our supporters with our charity shops, fundraising events, or our Christmas calendar; this time, however, we have to ask for help with nothing in return, except for our promise that we will work extremely hard to take the dogs from the pound between now and Christmas" added Ms Comerford.
To donate to the MADRA appeal log on to www.madra.ie/donatel html and make a once-off or recurring donation via PayPal. You can also donate at the MADRA Shop in Westside between 11 am and 5 pm from Thursday to Saturday. MADRA Calendars are on sale in vets and at Petworld in Terryland for €8.
For more information you can email [email protected] or text 086 8149026.