Abandoned and abused dogs in desperate need of shelter are being turned away on a daily basis from PAWS Animal Rescue.
Gina Hetherington, the founder and general manager of PAWS, spoke to the Kilkenny People this week about the increasing numbers of abandoned dogs in both Kilkenny and Tipperary in the last two years.
Seriously injured dogs are also taken in by PAWS on a regular basis. At present the rescue is full leaving staff with no option other than turn animals away.
“We have to turn away dogs on a daily basis; it is heart-breaking.
“Every week we work with dog pounds waiting until the last minute to see which dogs are urgent and will be put to sleep. Then we all get so stressed trying to make space and save as many as we can knowing the debts will rise again, but we are rescuers.
“Ours hearts lead our minds. We see their sad broken faces peeping out of the wire in the pounds, often skin and bone. Begging for someone to come and open that gate before it’s too late.
“We are the ones who cry when we have no space or funds. Then we get abuse as to why we didn't save them all, we have to live with the guilty. Don't worry. It haunts us,” she said.
Currently PAWS Animal Rescue, who is home to 118 dogs and they have a further 29 dogs in foster care is €41,000 in debt.
“That is between, vets, the dog food company and various other suppliers and dog transporters.
“Our own animal ambulance is parked up, it has almost run its last mile after years of serving PAWS. It is beyond being repaired. So we have to pay to transport some of the dogs now, to the UK and other locations, which is soaking up much needed funds we had in the past.
“Even when we would do well at a fundraiser, a new cruelty case comes in and you rush to save them knowing your putting yourself under so much pressure again but somebody has to do it.
The organisation are trying to find suitable premises to hold a jumble sale a couple of days a week to help us get on top of some of these bills.
“The rents in Kilkenny are way beyond our means so we is appealing to anyone in Kilkenny city who has a hall or premises suitable for weekly jumble sales, to contact them,”added Gina.
If anyone can help please contact PAWS Animal Rescue on 052 9153507 or www.paws.ie