BY WORKING closely with local and national dog welfare organisations, Donegal County Council has increased the percentage of dogs re-homed from its Dog Shelter from 43 percent in 2011 to 76 per cent in 2014.
County Vet, Charles Kealey has stated that in 2014 632 dogs passed through the Donegal County Council Dog Shelter. Of these 383 were seized by the Wardens and 249 were handed over. 45 were reclaimed by their owners, 9 were re-homed directly by the Shelter and 427 were transferred to Dog welfare groups (animal charities) and 150 were put to sleep.
“We are delighted with the increase in the number of dogs re-homed and this is testament to the great work done by the staff in the Dog Shelter as well as the co-operation that we have received from local and national dog welfare organisations” he said.
Dogs enter the Dog Shelter either because they have been handed over by a member of the public who can no longer keep them or because the Dog Warden has seized them following complaints made by members of the public.
“People may no longer be able to keep their dog for a number of reasons such as old age, illness, moving home etc. Responsible dog owners will leave their dog into the shelter if they cannot find a suitable home for it. This prevents the dog from becoming a nuisance and also means the dog will not be exposed to the welfare problems associated with straying. Stray dogs are liable to encounter a number of welfare problems including malnutrition, disease, injury through traffic accidents and fighting or abusive treatment”.
“Dogs are seized when members of the public make complaints about dogs causing a nuisance. Such complaints include straying, biting, fouling, aggressive behaviour sheep worrying etc. On these occasions the dog warden visits the area in question and removes any stray dogs,” said Mr Kealey.
All dogs must have a dog licence. Donegal County Council issued 7,931 dog licences in 2014. Individual dog licences last for one year from the date of issue and cost €20.00. Dog licences can be purchased at any post office or online at donegalcoco.ie. Dog owners can buy a ‘Lifetime of Dog’ licence. This is valid for the dog’s lifetime and costs €140. A “General Dog Licence” (which costs €400) is a licence allowing a person to keep an unspecified number of dogs at one designated premises and is valid for one year from the date of issue.
The dog shelter is situated at Glencar, Letterkenny and is open Monday to Saturday inclusive from 10.30 am until 1.30 pm.
The Dog Wardens can be contacted on (074) 9125159.
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