Dog Show Triumph Highlights Problems Facing Animal Rescues in Recession
From the pound to the podium, two rescue dogs pawed their way to top honours this weekend at Crufts dog agility competitions in Birmingham, England, the largest annual dog show in the world.
The winners, Gertie and Winnie, were both rescued from the Dunboyne pound in Co Meath by A Dog’s Life, an Irish charity which tries to save healthy dogs from being euthanised.
The numbers of dogs in Irish pounds has grown significantly during the recession.
Gertie, a collie-cross, placed in fourth in the Young Kennel Club Agility Competition, while Winnie, a grey-haired lurcher, came in second in the Kennel Club ABC Dog Agility Competition. Both dogs were adopted by Julie Rumsey and her family from York, England.
Winnie was found as a stray in 2008, while Gertie was born in the pound a few days after her mother was brought in 2007. These dogs are especially lucky: in Ireland, stray dogs are put down after five days if they have not been reclaimed, while surrendered dogs only have 24 hours to fine a new home.
Often dogs will end up in pounds because owners simply have not thought through their decision said Martina Roche, a co-ordinator for A Dog’s Life. “A lot of times people will get an inappropriate breed, a tiny pup because it’s cute, but they underestimate the amount of exercise it will need, and they don’t have the time or the energy,” said Ms Roche.
Many Irish dog pounds are “closed pounds”, meaning that rescue organisations are not allowed in. The numbers of dogs in Irish pounds has grown significantly during the recession, but this time of year also sees a spike, when Christmas puppies have grown into dogs.
A Dog’s Life works with the South Dublin County Council Dog Pound to rescue as many as 1,200 dogs a year. The volunteer-run and donation-funded organisation often transports and fosters dogs until they’re ready to be rehomed, finding them places at dog rescues like PuppyRescue in Kilkenny, from which Winnie was adopted.
(source: Irish Times)