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Shocking year for animal rescue services in Clare

AN “EXPLOSION” of abandoned cats has prompted a West Clare animal sanctuary to issue an appeal to owners to take greater responsibility for their pets.   Dr Rhona Lucas who runs An Cat Dubh Sanctuary said that since the lockdowns eased, she has been inundated with abandoned cats, often in need of urgent care. “In the month of September, I took in 46 cats,” the 78 year-old outlined. “It has been a shocking year for admissions. I’ve actually been too frightened to count the total number of cats taken in this year.” Rhona said that the problem of abandoned and straying cats is particularly severe, but that she is also taking in more dogs than usual, as well as other animals. “It seems that many people got pets during the lockdowns while they were at home,” she said. “Now they’re back in the workplace and sadly many pets are being abandoned. Normally, I would have a busy summer and then a …

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Big drop in abandoned dogs and animals put down in Clare

THE number of dogs being surrendered to the pound has dropped by half in Clare over the last five years, new figures show. However, there were more dogs abandoned in this county in 2019 than almost every other. Only Tipperary saw a higher number of surrendered dogs last year. The number of dogs being put down, meanwhile, has seen a 12-fold drop in this county since 2015, largely down to greater cooperation between the dog control authorities and rescue organisations. Data released by the Department of Rural and Community Development show that a total of 182 dogs were voluntarily handed over the to the pound in Clare last year. The only county with a higher rate of surrenders, Tipperary, had 191 dogs given over to the pound in 2019. While still higher than the national average, the number of surrenders has been steadily decreasing in the last five years and is down from 393 in 2015. “The figures are still …

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Dog Friendly Day

My friends at the Dogs Trust charity have come up with a wonderful idea I want to tell you about. Next Friday week, June 21, is Dog Friendly Ireland Day, a day when all business owners are encouraged to open up their premises to us canines. We’ve a lot of work to do in this area. Despite 40% of all households in Ireland taking the enlightened decision to have a dog about the place, we lag far behind the rest of Europe when it comes to dog-friendly facilities. When I went on holidays to Devon and Cornwall a few years ago – come to think of it, it’s high time I went back – everywhere I went I was welcomed with open arms. Nearly every pub, café or restaurant had a sign that said ‘Well behaved dogs welcome’. I’m always well behaved and it was lovely to sit under a chair while my humans enjoyed a drink or meal and …

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Enjoying the sunshine during breakfast on the terrace.

Half a Century at BrookLodge

Keep it to yourself but one of my humans recently celebrated his 50th birthday. That’s ancient – around seven in dog years. Seeing as he’s always so good to me and looks after me so well, I decided to do something nice for him. I checked my bone account to see what it could stand and thanks to the excellent Bone/Euro exchange rate, on account of Brexit worries, I found that I could manage a few nights in BrookLodge in County Wicklow. It’s one of my favourite places as I get to look at the hens, chickens and geese that roam the grounds. My humans love it for the peace and tranquillity, not to mention the organic food for which it’s renowned. There’s a further attraction – the two resident dogs, my pals, Oscar and George, who are always good for a laugh and a chat. It was late afternoon when we arrived so after checking in with my American …

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Merry Christmas to all our readers

Clare Champion dog, Daisy, would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas. She has also issued a warning that this time of year can be hazardous for pets, so keep an eye on them. Chocolates and some fruits, including grapes, are very harmful to dogs, so they should be supervised at all times. Most of us are planning Christmas dinner and, next to gifts, food and drink play a huge part in our celebrations. But just as we should be careful not to over-indulge, we need to make sure our pets are looked after as well. Coffee, hot chocolate and caffeine products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cocoa seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some fizzy drinks. When ingested by pets, these can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, panting, excessive hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and sometimes, in excessive amounts, …

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Happy Easter from Daisy

Chocolate is harmful to dogs

CHOCOLATE is made with cocoa beans, and cocoa beans contain methylxanthine alkaloids in the form of theobromine and caffeinea, which are toxic to dogs. Chocolate can also contain high amounts of fat, which can put your dog’s health in jeopardy as well. How much is too much? Different dogs react differently to the methylxanthines and reactions can vary according to the age, size and overall health of the dog. The smaller the dog, the smaller the dose needed to produce an effect. If your dog’s health is already weakened by other medical conditions, they are more susceptible. The same holds for older dogs. Theobromine is present in differing amounts in chocolate: white chocolate has 1mg/oz, hot chocolate 12 mg/oz, milk chocolate 44-66mg/oz, semi-sweet chocolate 260mg/oz, dark chocolate 450mg/oz, while baking/bitter chocolate or cocoa powder varies as much as 150-600 mg/oz. A potentially lethal dose in a 16-pound dog is only one pound of milk chocolate. Only two ounces of baking …

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Working with man’s best friends

FOR any dog lover, spending time walking and caring for the animal is a really enjoyable experience and so placement at a dog kennels was ideal for one participant during EmployAbility Clare’s annual Job Shadow Week last year. Job Shadow Week, a national initiative, takes place each year in the last week in April and is designed specifically to introduce people with a disability to the world of work. For many people, it is their first employment opportunity, spending time shadowing someone in their workplace and finding out about different work environments and jobs. Rosaleen and Mark Burns, owners of Dysert O’Dea Dog Kennels, hosted a job shadow for the first time last year and found it a rewarding experience. “We had the most fantastic young man with us for a job shadow. He’s a dog lover and our kennels and newly-opened daycare service are very busy, so he helped out walking the dogs and learned about the importance of …

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Kilmihil leads the challenge in Clonmel

THE Clare contingent will travel with a fair degree of confidence to the National Coursing Meeting in Clonmel this week-end, with some worthy representatives in the classics. Pride of place goes to Kilmihil, with three runners representing the parish at Powerstown Park. A lot of attention will also be focused on Mullagh native, Dr Paddy O’Kelly, whose unbeaten and Gerry Holian-trained Reikers Iskand (Adios Alonso – Blades of Glory) is second favourite for the Boylesports Derby. He won a good trial stake at Westmeath United and his prospects have been given a huge boost since then by winning the Corn na Féile puppy stake at Abbeyfeale, an event regarded as a good barometer for Clonmel. The favourite is his litter brother, Blades of Fire (6/1), also trained by Gerry Holian. He is owned by Mary Guiney (Rathkeale). The draws were made in the Horse and Jockey Hotel, the sponsor of the Oaks, on Friday night last. Out of the hat …

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