East Clare Community Co-op will hold an animal awareness day at the community garden in Scariff on Saturday.
The Dandelion Day Festival runs from 1pm to 5pm and will be held in aid of Mollie Cares: Feral Cat Neutering Programme and Great Hounds in Need: Greyhound Rescue.
Eileen Toomey of East Clare Community Co-op explained that she like many others who work in the community garden have been involved in animal welfare for many years, be it through fostering animals or re-homing.
“There is also a history of animal rights here at the co-op with one of our funding members very involved back in the ’80s. So it made sense that we would hold an event that would help raise awareness of the need to be more involved and proactive when it comes to the needs of abandoned/neglected animals in the county.
“The name Dandelion Day came from the idea that dandelions are a native Irish wild flower with many beneficial medicinal properties but to many the area disliked and considered a weed. The same can be thought of abandoned and unwanted animals be it cats, dogs, horses. But none more so than feral cats and greyhounds; both very marginalised here in Ireland so that’s why we chose the two charities,” she said.
The animal welfare programmes to benefit from the festival include Mollie Cares, which offers a feral cat neutering programme. It is run by two East Clare women, who have been involved in animal welfare for many years. It was inspired by Samantha Morrisey’s dog, Mollie the Collie, who has no feeling in her back legs and has a two wheel cart to keep her mobile. Samantha wanted to use this to create something positive, therefore the name Mollie Cares. She joined her friend Catherine Finch to try to help the huge colony of feral cats which were roaming Scarrif. Together they have to date trapped, neutered, and released up to 20 cats.
Great Hounds In Need is a Greyhound rescue service run by Lucky Poucova in the Czech Republic. She came across the plight of greyhounds here in Ireland over seven years ago and started finding homes for them in the Czech Republic. Most of the hounds they rescue come from pounds across the country. The dogs are kept in foster homes here in Ireland until families are found.
“Great Hounds are also very involved in promoting greyhounds as pets and it is especially apt that April is Adopt a Greyhound Month. We felt it was a good idea to have a day that highlighted the positive things that are happening such as the great work done by many animal rescues in the county and of course the phenomenal work done by Frankie Coote of the ISPCA,” Eileen added.
The festival will host a dog show, a dog agility competition, a wildlife talk from The Hogsprickle, a welfare talk from Frankie Coote the ISPCA warden. Wildlife expert Jamie Durant of Birdwatch Ireland will also be giving a talk on wildlife and how people can get involved.
Meanwhile, information on pet care and animal healing will also be to hand.