My name is Patricia. I live in the Nire Valley (Ballymacarbry, Co. Waterford), surrounded by mountains, where I have a smallholding. I decided to establish a rescue centre after saving several animals from cruel and inhumane situations. These animals include horses, dogs, cats, goats, hens, ducks, geese, a wild boar, sheep, birds, bearded dragons, degus, rabbits and guinea pigs.
I have lived in Ireland for several years, before moving here I worked as an Animal Health Trading Standards Inspector in Wales. Unfortunately, I see many examples of animals being mistreated here in Ireland. However, though Ireland is essentially a rural country, it does not have a well-developed animal welfare and rescue system – many laws pertaining to these matters are outdated and archaic, making it difficult for the Gardaí to enforce them.
A large number of people have dogs and cats nowadays, some of which are misinformed that cats will cease to hunt after they have been neutered. This has resulted in a huge population (which is still growing) of unwanted animals, many of which are feral. I feel that this escalating population is now out of control and is resulting in far too many animals dying of illnesses, which are often treatable. Conversely, it has resulted in many animals being euthanized.
I have been extremely lucky with the friends I have met through my work with animals and animal welfare. They have encouraged me to establish this sanctuary, which is over ten years old now. Though there are welfare charities in Ireland, few are in this end of the country, yet the need for such organisations is only growing. Re-homing cats in particular has become extremely difficult in recent years, thanks to the rising population of feral cats. Old, young, ill or healthy, many of these cats are put to sleep simply because there is not enough room for them. There is an alarming amount of neglect and abuse of Sighthounds in Ireland. At any given time we have over 10 sighthounds in our care- whippets, lurchers, greyhounds and Salukis. These are some of the hardest dogs to rehome.
The Deise Animal Sanctuary is not solely a cat and dog sanctuary. An increasing amount of people are finding themselves unable to care for their more ‘exotic’ pets; we will be able to hold onto these and all animals until we can find a caring new home for them. I understand that due to COVID19 we are in the throws of a recession at the moment and our pockets no longer ring with the telltale jingle of loose change – however, if you have any spare cages or old cat pens at home, we would greatly appreciate anything you could donate or spare.
– Pat Edwards.