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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 21 July, 2019
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Animal rescue service under pressure as more pets are abandoned

The Dublin SPCA says it is now rescuing twice as many animals as in 2007 – and blames the economic downturn for the shocking rise in demand.

Allegra the lurcher, who was rescued by Dublin SPCA staff last weekend in an emaciated condition
Allegra the lurcher, who was rescued by Dublin SPCA staff last weekend in an emaciated condition
Image: Dublin SPCA

ANIMAL RESCUE SERVICES in Dublin are being stretched to the limit by increasing numbers of abandoned pets, according to one charity.

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the economic downturn is to blame for rising demand for its services, and revealed that it is now having to rescue twice as many animals as in 2007. The charity, which highlighted the case of a two-week-old puppy recently found abandoned inside a bag of electrical equipment, is now calling for donations to meet the cost of its operations.

Lori Davis, development manager for the Dublin SPCA, said:

The Dublin SPCA relies on the generosity of the public for 95 per cent of our funding. While people are still giving what they can, the demand on our services has jumped through the roof. Many of the animals don’t come to our attention until they are literally on their last legs so they need extensive veterinary care and sometimes around the clock attention.
We don’t think of the animals in our care in terms of money but we are conscious that the rise in animal neglect puts incredible pressure on our services and we dread the day we can’t provide enough to protect these animals.

Last weekend members of the Dublin SPCA rescued a starving two-year-old dog from the brink of death after a call from a member of the public, the charity said. Allegra, a lurcher, was “days from death”, said operations manager Orla Aungier.

“Allegra’s condition was heartbreaking,” Ms Aungier added. “Emaciated, suffering from mange and pressure sores, she had also recently had a litter of pups. She was in obvious pain and need of urgent medical attention yet she greeted her new carers with licks and a wagging tail.”

Allegra is now expected to make a full recovery. However, the charity has released graphic pictures of her condition when rescued and first brought to the Dublin SPCA centre:

Animal rescue service under pressure as more pets are abandoned
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  • "Heartbreaking" condition of rescued dog Allegra

  • "Heartbreaking" condition of rescued dog Allegra

  • "Heartbreaking" condition of rescued dog Allegra

  • "Heartbreaking" condition of rescued dog Allegra


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Michael Freeman

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