Kilkenny animal welfare group respond to more than 2,000 incidents a year
By COLIN BARTLEY
KILKENNY’S Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (KSPCA) received more than 6,000 calls in the past 12 months, 2,000 of these calls they had to act upon for the animal’s sake.
This weekend the KSPCA takes to the streets for one of their main fundraising events of the year, their flag day, and they are asking people of Kilkenny to dig deep and support them.
Based in Green’s Hill in the city, the team of animal lovers is made up entirely from volunteers who spend their time rescuing animals in need, or responding to those that have been involved in accidents caused by human interaction.
Director and Welfare Officer at KSPCA Noel O’ Donaghue says people may be surprised at exactly how busy the group is.
“We get over 6,000 calls a year to the office in Kilkenny.
“Of these calls, 30% – 35% we would have to act upon, as in we would physically have to do something about, that’s over 2,000 incidents. People are always surprised to hear that figure.
“We might have to go out to a property and investigate a complaint or an allegation. Sometimes we can do that by following up with a call.
“There is a misconception of what we do. A lot of people think we hear a complaint, run into a property put a dog under our arm and run off again, but it is not like that. We can’t legally seize any animal without the assistance of the gardai, and on the advice of vets.”
Noel and the volunteers in KSPCA have a lot of ground to cover, reacting to callouts from Slievrue to Castlecomer, and taking calls from the public in the office. This small but dedicated team are quite stretched.
“A lot of the calls we get are just general information, things like people ringing up for neutering vouchers, to get their cats spayed or neutered.
“More calls come from people who have found injured animals, birds with broken wings, wildlife being found on roads after being hit, etc. People often contact us asking for advice on how they can care for these animals.
“The rest then, the 35%, that is dealing with the call-outs and the complaints. There is a lot of ground to cover.”
Volunteers will be out shaking their buckets with force today, tomorrow and Saturday for the KSPCA flag days. It’s a major contributor to the society’s continued work in assisting animals that have been harmed, caring for animals that have been rescued, and in the provision of animal welfare advice to the Kilkenny public.
“KSPCA is funded by donations from the public through flag days, bag packs and other public fundraising. We also get some funding through grants from the Agriculture Department.”