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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019

'Looking for a miracle': Kildare Animal Foundation launches urgent funding appeal

The centre hasn’t been able to pay any bills in several weeks.

Holly, one of the centre's residents.
Holly, one of the centre's residents.

KILDARE ANIMAL FOUNDATION has launched a fundraising appeal after falling behind its their bills.

Founder Geraldine O’Hanlon said the shelter has struggled to keep up with the demand placed on it.

“We started to fall behind last winter. Last winter was very tough,” O’Hanlon said.

“We got more animals than ever before, some were in a dreadful condition and needed intense veterinary care and nutrition.”

“People failed to neuter female dogs and then dumped them out. We’d have space for her, but if she was pregnant we’d end up with nine puppies too. That happened week after week after week … litters growing up side by side. When you have multiples of puppies, you have all that costs.”

If they meet their goal of €8,000, O’Hanlon said the shelter will be able to pay vets, food suppliers, and an overdue ESB bill worth €1,200.

About €4,000 has been raised to date.

People have been absolutely fabulous … I’m so grateful.

She said that proceeds from a winter raffle, about €24,000, had “kept our head above water” until the end of last month.

Kildare Animal Foundation's Photos - Kildare Animal Foundation | Facebook Source: Kildare Animal Foundation/Facebook

‘No frills’

It costs an average of €170,000 a year to run the centre, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in July.

We’re very much a ‘no frills’ type of centre … We spend our money wisely, it’s on pharmaceuticals, it’s on food. There are no committees, there are no administration costs.

The shelter is staffed by a team of about 11 volunteers.

O’Hanlon said that this is first time “in a good while” the foundation has had to appeal for funds publicly.

It’s very stressful, I’m full of fear because when I look around I see all those innocent, happy faces – they don’t have any idea about electricity bills or anything like that. You don’t want to do anything to let them down.

She noted that the shelter gets “small grants” from the Agriculture and Arts Departments but said they “cannot depend” on them.

‘A Miracle’

The foundation has not contacted the government about their current financial trouble.

“I found in the past that there was absolutely no point … By the time you’d have done the paperwork your shelter would be well gone under.”

O’Hanlon said the foundation’s suppliers will be delighted if they received any money at all.

“We’re on good terms with our suppliers and the veterinary clinic. They know we’re in it for the long haul,” she added.

“What we’re looking for is a miracle … enough to pay bills and a bit more”

Donations can be made on the foundation’s website or posted to Kildare Animal Foundation, South Green Road, Kildare Town.

'Looking for a miracle': Kildare Animal Foundation launches urgent funding appeal
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Órla Ryan

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