As part of our C.S.P.E action project, Rang Catriona invited Kathleen Murray from the
DSPCA to give advice to students regarding animal welfare.
Kathleen explained to us that there are many forms of neglect and that it
happens all the time (e.g. leaving a dog confined in a small room all day is a form of neglect)
Kathleen also explained to us that many forms of neglect are unintentional and often due to
lack of animal welfare education.
Kathleen is currently working on a project known as the ARC ( A nimal
R ehabilitation C entre), a place where animals will be rehabilitated and rehomed in Ballyar,
Ramelton. All animals are welcome to the centre including; rabbits, seals, dogs, cats,
snakes, horses and any other animal they can facilitate.
We learned that, by law, all cats must be neutered (costing around €65 per
female cat). This is necessary as cats can have up to four litters a year and are able to
reproduce at just a few years of age.
We learned about treating dogs properly and that they use tone and body
language to communicate. If somebody wants to maintain a healthy relationship with a dog,
they should use a calm confident tone and assertive, non-aggressive body language.
It is also important to remember that dogs are descendants of wolves and that
they need to stimulate their instinctive senses to stay happy. Another point to consider is that
the following are toxic to dogs: raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate , raw eggs and milk.
We also learned that when a dog is taken to a dog pound they have five days to
be rehomed before they are ‘put to sleep’. Statistics show that up to 1,000 dogs a year are
‘put to sleep’ in the Donegal dog pound (although Kathleen optimistically pointed out these
figures are improving with better animal welfare education).