Wise men say: Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future.And so are we at DDR, while planning the extreme challenge of building our own Rescue Centre, we asked the founding Dog-Mother of DDR Ann Moore:Why did Dundalk Dog Rescue start?
DDR started quite by accident. From a bored few minutes googling lost dogs a site called Pets Ireland popped up showing Dogs in two Dublin pounds waiting rescue help and pleading for financial and transport help for the Dogs by two rescues helping them. It progressed quickly into offering transport help for Dogs needing to get to Kennels from those pounds and in the main I found myself transporting German shepherds as the Kennels they were destined for was close to work. I would often find myself offering to transport during lunch time and praying that the next link in the transport chain turned up. A friendship was struck up with the shepherd rescue founder, gill Brady, which still remains.
One evening out for a walk and passing the Dundalk Pound I heard Dogs barking and looked over the wall and thought if Dogs in Dublin pounds could be helped why not these! I truly must have had a mad moment but, if not, certainly one naive thought that looking back upon I should have quickly banished from my mind! With support from Gill as the first dog to get released was a Rottie Gsd x the Dundalk rescue started. It was quite the one man show for a very long time but quickly the number of dogs taken out increased as contacts were made to help them. Within a short time relationships were forged with Carina of Hundar utan Hem and Karen in Heathlands, Jemima of Flatcoat Retriever x rescue, Yasmina in Lea valley and Mary in Enfield. These friendships still remain with the common aim and mission to offer Dogs a second chance and to the best of our ability ensure that a dog rescued from death row does not face that danger again and will be an integral part of a good home.
Has anything changed for the better on the stray dog situation since 2005? Sadly little! Pounds are seen as the enemy but in reality they are the necessary ‘evil’ born out of the irresponsible attitude to animals in Ireland by people. The same old problems remain I.e. not neutering and the easy disposal of that once much sought after cuddly pup or pups because the person could not decide which one to take and took two! Never a thought that two tiny pups can turn into large squabbling siblings when not neutered or trained. Add to that the increase in puppy farm breeding for greed and nothing has changed – in fact the problem has escalated.
Animal welfare needs to be included in the primary school curriculum in an attempt to educate children in proper thought and care of animals. So many people are totally oblivious to welfare, in fact, totally oblivious to animals seeing them as just objects or worse vermin. This needs to be addressed.
As more rescues came into existence in Ireland the consecutive governments have left the job to them to tackle overbreeding and mass disposal of innocent souls, preferring to use funding for the cruel greyhound industry as one example and supporting the farm breeders.
Will the need for DDR ever expire? We would very much hope so but in reality that is very doubtful. So we have to continue with our mission to help as many abandoned poor dogs as we can physically and financially do. The pleas and begging for volunteers to help our already overburdened existing volunteers needs to continue. The begging for funds to help them will continue. And more necessary we need our new Centre so that we can help more and also provide a life time home to the Dogs that for one reason or another will have to remain with us for life.