Everyone has a role to play in protecting dogs

Everyone has a role to play in combating animal cruelty, a local animal welfare worker has said in the wake of the shocking case of Bessie the Collie.

Tuesday, 14th January 2014, 6:37 pm

Gillian McFadden of the Doghouse Sanctuary at Lisnaree Road, Banbridge has urged all people to do what they can to prevent any cases of cruelty.

She said a key element lay in gathering evidence.

“While the police and animal welfare officers are doing all they can, the problem lies in gathering enough evidence to prosecute,” said Gillian.

“We need to be on the look-out for proof that can lead to a prosecution.”

While Gillian feels the internet is good for helping to bring cases of cruelty to light and catch those responsible, she feels it also has a downside.

“The number of pups advertised is incredible and while in many instances they are well bred by responsible people, unfortunately there is also an element of breeders who are just in it for the money and don’t care whether the pup is going to a good home or not.”

The Doghouse Sanctuary has dealt firsthand rescuing dogs from abuse and currently has several needing rehomed, including dogs from Romania.

These animals were designated to be destroyed by Romanian authorities, an act which the Doghouse Sanctuary explained is carried out in a most barbaric way - using a 2lb hammer to strike the dog’s head.

Dogs that come to the sanctuary have a full health check and are given vaccines and any other emergency medical treatment that is needed.

They are then advertised as being suitable for re-homing and stay at the sanctuary until a new home is found for them.

The primary purpose of The Doghouse Sanctuary in Banbridge is to take dogs from the council dog wardens that are destined to be put to sleep, because they have not found a home within the statutory five days.

Gillian said: “We take dogs from the council wardens on a regular basis - as often as one a week.

“The majority of these dogs are strays that we keep until we can get them a home.

“Usually the stray dogs we take in are suffering as a result of having no food, or have problems such as skin conditions.”

The group also helps members of the public who find themselves unable to look after their pet for a variety of reasons such as marriage break-ups, poverty or the death of an owner.

Gillian has made an appeal for anyone clearing out old blankets and towels to pass them on to the Sanctuary.

“Not everyone can give a dog a home, but they can still help us by donating items like blankets, as we always need things like that,” said Gillian.

To find out more contact Gillian at the Doghouse Sanctuary on 028 4066 2460 or find them on Facebook.