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Deirdre Ryan. Photograph by John Kelly.

Animal welfare this May Day

by Jessica Quinn

AN Ennis based group of animal lovers are urging the people of the county to get behind a new awareness and fundraising day that they hope will go on to become an international event.

On May 1, Clare will host the first ever ‘MayDay for Animals’. This awareness and fundraising day will see Clare people tying a balloon to their home or place of work to remember animals in need of rescuing, and to celebrate animals rescued.

According to organisers, there is a real urgency now to communicate to people the cruel reality of what is going on for some animals in this county and country. In addition to this, they want to encourage people to think before they commit to getting a pet, as it is heart-breaking for a family pet to be suddenly removed from the family home and surrendered to the pound or worse, dumped miles from home.

MayDay is about making people more mindful about the welfare of all animals in general.

According to Deirdre Ryan of locally based Rover Rescue, “Some dogs we rescue require a lot of medical attention and rehabilitation before we can consider rehoming them. Some are perfect family pets – surrendered simply because they are either old or just not wanted anymore. It is heartbreaking for us as a rescue to witness on a daily basis what it is like for these innocent dogs.”

Catriona Lowry, PR for the event, believes events like ‘MayDay for Animals’ are also one way of trying to engage with young people.

“As parents or guardians, we must teach children and young people how to be compassionate towards animals. Studies have shown: when children are encouraged to be empathetic and caring towards animals, they grow into teenagers who have a higher level of empathy in general. Therefore, this is not just about the welfare of animals; it is about how healthy we are and will be as a society.’ She added, ‘even if animal welfare is not one of your priorities in life, how safe we are as a society should concern you.”

There are many ways people in Clare can get involved in the first annual ‘MayDay for Animals’. Organisers outlined the different ways to mark MayDay: you can tie a balloon and show your care; you can donate to Rover Rescue in Ennis or any of the rescues working tirelessly to rescue animals; you can foster or adopt; or even organise a balloon party.

In addition to this, they are also hoping that MayDay will encourage people to report any incidences or suspicions of animal abuse or neglect.
According to Catriona, “There is no doubt in my mind that next year this will be a national event and who knows, maybe a global one; and to think, it all started in Ennis, County Clare.”

About Jessica Quinn

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