LEASHES and heartstrings were pulled in equal measure at Petmania in Carlow when Ash Animal Rescue held one of its adoption days last Friday. The Kiltegan animal charity brought four adorable Jack Russell crosses in need of a good home.
Cali is a puppy from one of 74 dogs surrendered to Ash by one dog owner last Christmas. The dog owner had become overwhelmed by the number of dogs and had wracked up thousands in credit card bills in a desperate bid to care for them. Many of the dogs were pregnant when surrendered and Cali was born over Christmas while in care.
The mass dog surrender pushed the charity to the limit as an office, bedroom and even a bathroom were commandeered to provide a temporary home for the dogs. The new arrivals had a host of issues and virtually none of them had ever been socialised or handled.
“It’s been a slow process, but we have been very fortunate to have found homes for 65 of these dogs,” says Helena le Mahaeu, who was joined by her daughter Ava Bermingham and granddaughter Sophie at the adoption day.
Another dog, Sunshine, was found at the side of the road two weeks ago. Her bloated belly was initially thought to be due to worms, but it was later discovered to be due to malnourishment and she also had skin problems.
Helena has now been working in animal welfare for over 20 years and her dedication is easily summed up.
“I just can’t walk away,” she says. “I still feel privileged. I love working with animals. I wish it was different, not just picking up the pieces, but that is the way it is.”
Dogs are never immediately taken home at these adoption days, despite how much people might fall in love with them. “We do not want to see a little cute puppy taken home on impulse,” explains Helena.
People are invited to see the dog again at Ash’s sanctuary in Kiltegan and there is a home visit.
All these dogs are microchipped, vaccinated and spayed and neutered, if old enough. There is a rehoming fee of €130 for dogs, a figure which still does not cover all of Ash’s care costs. A rehoming fee for one of Ash’s cats varies between €25-50 depending on age.
These adoption days are run every second Friday at Petmania’s store in Carlow.
Donations are always welcomed by Ash. If people are thinking of donating food, good quality dog food is always welcome.
The rule of thumb is the better quality food supplied, the less time a dog will spend in a vet’s. To get in contact with Ash Animal Rescue, telephone 059 6473396.