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Barking mad over county pound contract

CLARE County Council is barking up the wrong tree if they take the operation of the county’s dog pound away from the ISPCA, animal welfare groups have warned.

The county pound, located at the Gort Road Industrial Estate in Ennis, is currently being run by the ISPCA, with Frankie Coote as dog warden. However Clare County Council has put the operation of the pound out to tender.

In just 24 hours, an online petition organised by the group Protecting Pound Dogs in Ennis County Clare has gained 1,000 signatures, with that figure continuing to grow. The petition is calling for the pound to remain in the hands of the ISPCA.

Cork-based company Four Seasons Promotions Ltd, trading as ACS, is understood to be in the running for the tender to operate the county pound. However, Clare County Council insists that no decision has been made on the contract.

A spokesperson for the council stated, “The tendering process has not yet been concluded and, as such, the contract for the future operation of the pound has not yet been awarded.”

Mr Coote told The Clare Champion that he believes his job is under threat and he is “bitterly disappointed”. “We have spent years building up the pound with the help of other welfare groups,” he said.

Those behind the online campaign backing the ISPCA say Clare County Council must renew its contract with the Clare-based animal welfare organisation.

Annette Kenny, a spokesperson for Protecting Pound Dogs in Ennis County Clare said, “The ISPCA has a proven track record here in Clare. Year-on-year rehoming has increased. The Ennis dog pound is a hub for education, spaying, neutering and vaccinating, due to the open and transparent relationship we have with the dog warden Frankie Coote and all the ISPCA staff.”

“This is a relationship that animal welfare organisations, like Martina’s Baby Dog Rescue and Second Chance Animal Rescue, have worked very hard to build over the years. We have brought the dog pound from menial facilities to a place of education, of positive reinforcement of welfare,” Ms Kenny continued.

“In the last six months alone, we have increased rehoming by 50%. We, the ISPCA and the organisations I work on behalf of, have a reputation here in Clare. Clare County Council has never shown any dissatisfaction, have never spoken of any unhappiness with the dog warden or any organisations working there.”

She continued, “We are 100% behind the employees of the Ennis Dog Pound. We have an open and very transparent relationship with the dog warden, the staff members and the ISPCA and we need this for the welfare of the animals. Clare is an excellent county for animal welfare. We have seen this in the reaction of Ennis people when they answer our call for spaying and neutering.
“What we are asking of Clare County Council is to believe in what they have in place; that we, as a county, are responsible for our stray dog problem and our animal welfare. Things are working well here in Clare, the statistics support this. We’re asking Clare County Council to look in favour of renewing the ISPCA contract, to keep the good work in County Clare that the dog warden, the staff and the ISPCA are doing.”

Jessica Quinn

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