Category Archives: Other

A Message from our Chairperson

Oliver Morgan, the PRO for Louth SPCA and committee member for past number of years, has decided to resign as of today. We would like to thank him for all his endeavours and support of the Society, especially in securing our Patron Brian Gartlan. On behalf of the Directors and Committee, I would like to wish him all the best for the future.

Paul Casey

Chairperson of Louth SPCA

How to Help the Animals Impacted by the Australian Wildfires

As destructive wildfires continue to rage across Southern Australia, conservationists and wildlife experts fear for the survival of various animals. Half a billion animals are feared to have perished since the fires first started in September, leaving many native Australian fauna under threat of extinction – including the beloved koalas (as many as 95% percent of them could be gone). While the deadly bushfires rage on, opportunities to donate to the animals impacted by the Australian fires are in abundance, and we’ve gathered them below as many of you have asked.

This image is not a photo, it is a representation of all the fire damage in the last 3 months.

While trees burn, various wildlife are impacted, raising concerns for extinction. For instance, the future of koalas has long since been in question, but now with the bushfires tearing through Australia’s “Koala Triangle” (a region where in the majority of the nation’s koalas on the Australian east coast live), the threat of extinction is even more immense. Before the fires, the area’s koala population was expected to become extinct in as little as 30 years. Now, this timeline has been potentially accelerated.

Aside from the threat of extinction, the loss of habitats, food sources and the struggle to rehabilitate numerous injured animals are also major concerns. Here’s how we can help the wildlife victims of these fires during this devastating time.

Donate to the World Wildlife Fund

Donations to the the World Wildlife Fund will go towards supporting the injured animals impacted by the fires, particularly the koalas. You can donate to the WWF here.

Donate to WIRES

Wildlife rescue nonprofit Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) is rescuing and caring for thousands of injured, orphaned, and homeless native animals. You can donate to WIRES here.

Donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

Donations to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital will go towards installing automatic drinking stations for wildlife searching for water in Australia’s burnt areas. Donations will also support the establishment of a wild koala breeding program, designed with the hopes of reversing the species’s threat of extinction. Donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital’s GoFundMe page here.

Donate to the RSPCA of New South Wales

The RSPCA of New South Wales is working to evacuate, rescue and treat pets, livestock and wildlife in impacted areas. Make a donation to the RSPCA of New South Wales here.

Please also share this post with as many of your social media friends as possible, using the below buttons.

Pets and Christmas Food

A lot of the lovely food you feast on over the Christmas period can be very harmful to our faithful companions. Watch out for the following favourites that are most definitely NOT for your furry friend!

Chocolate

All kinds of chocolate and cocoa-based products – including chocolate tree decorations and chocolate advent calendars – should be kept away from pets because chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine. Theobromine is toxic to dogs and cats: it can lead to a racing heartbeat, dehydration, digestive upsets, seizures and in severe cases DEATH. The darker the chocolate, the more harmful it is. Make sure any presents you leave under the tree do not contain chocolate if you have a dog.

If you feel you really want your pooch to join in the Christmas fun, there is such a thing as chocolate suitable for dogs, which contains zero theobromine. It’s this or nothing for Fido.

Christmas Cake

Never share fruit cake, mince pies or Christmas pudding with your pet, no matter how much they beg, because raisins and currants are highly toxic to cats and dogs, even when cooked. Dried fruit poisoning can cause diarrhoea and vomiting and, in very serious cases, could lead to kidney failure!

Fizzy Drinks

Apart from being full of sugar or artificial sweetener – both of which are very bad for your pet – many fizzy drinks also contain caffeine, which has a similar effect to the theobromine in chocolate. Rapid breathing, restlessness and a racing heartbeat are the potential symptoms of serious caffeine poisoning.

Nuts and Crisps

Salty snacks are a festive staple, but they’re bad for your pet in many ways. Peanuts and crisps contain too much salt and fat, and macadamia nuts are highly toxic: they can cause sickness, a high temperature, tremors and heart palpitations. The effects of macadamia nut poisoning can happen very quickly, so keep all nuts well out of reach.

Sugar-free sweets and Chewing Gum

These days, the sweetener xylitol is often used to replace sugar in sweets, cakes and chewing gum. Too much xylitol has a laxative effect on humans, but the consequences for your pet are much more serious. An excess of Xylitol can spark a sudden surge of the hormone insulin which, in turn, can cause seizures, vomiting, lack of co-ordination and potential liver damage.

Cheese

Keep festive cheeseboards away from hungry pets because dogs and cats can often struggle to digest the lactose in dairy products. Too much cheese can give your pet a tummy upset.


If you think your pet has eaten something potentially poisonous during the festive season, always contact your vet immediately.

So what CAN your pet eat at Christmas… aside from his own food, that is?

Christmas Turkey

The pièce de résistance of every Christmas dinner, your furry friend can enjoy small quantities of your turkey as long as all pieces are boneless, skinless and free from gravy or other marinades which can upset your pet’s stomach.

Potatoes

A super tasty side dish, again only feed your pet potatoes in small quantities – as they are starchy – and ensure they are plain with nothing else added, such as butter and salt.

Winter Vegetables

Carrots, parsnips, green beans, courgettes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, spinach and cauliflower not only make yummy Christmas dinner trimmings but all great for your pet. Make sure you rinse off any excess butter or oil before giving to your furry friend and always feed in small quantities.

Why Puppies As Christmas Gifts Are A Bad Idea

Surprising your son, daughter, friend, or relative with a pet as a present may seem thoughtful, but it typically doesn’t end well for the cat, dog or other critter. Thousands of them are surrendered to animal shelters by March, some as soon as the first of the New Year simply because families or new owners weren’t prepared for the care and responsibility.

Here are a few reasons why giving pets as surprise Christmas gifts, or any kind of gift, is a bad idea.

Pets and Pet Owners need a Relationship

It’s pretty well known or accepted that the bond between pet and pet owner needs to be very strong and present right from the beginning. You can’t go out and pick just any dog or cat.

It is also tough to build that relationship during such a busy time of year. The surprise pet is already stressed at having been moved, of being introduced to a totally new environment from the pet store or family or shelter that he’s been used to, and really needs a quiet, calm environment. This quieter, calmer time is also necessary for pets and pet owners to establish a routine. With the chaos surrounding the whole holiday season, pets are often neglected.

Plus kids can be unreliable; kids change quickly. You know this! The puppy melts their hearts for a few days or weeks only. But then it needs to be walked every day (in the rain… we live in Ireland, remember?!). It needs careful attention to its feeding and eliminating if it’s going to be housebroken effectively. It needs to be taught not to jump on people. The kids oohing and aahing under the tree will very soon move on to Snapchat and texting their friends and ignoring the poor wee creature….

Pets Require Time, Money and Responsibility

Pets should not be surprise gifts because, particularly for new pet owners, some families are completely unprepared and overwhelmed by the care and expense that a new pet requires. Puppies and kittens especially, but adult dogs, too.

Typically, the larger the dog, the larger the expense for vet care and dog food and the bigger the clean-up both in-house and outside.

Everything that the animal needs to be properly cared for should be discussed and planned well in advance, including the kind and size of dog that best suits families’ individual home situations. Preparation includes realizing how decorations, foods and business at Christmas time can be frightening to animals.

Many parents don’t consider that 2 weeks later the kids are back to school and the puppy still needs walks and plenty of attention (or else it starts chewing things – all sorts of things!). Realistically, it will be YOU looking after this creature, if you think it will be looked after by the children once Christmas is over, you are fooling yourself.

Pet-friendly Alternatives

One alternative is to buy the pet supplies for Christmas and leave choosing the puppy or kitten or whatever, until after things have settled down. If they still want a puppy come the new year, and are willing to take responsibility for it, then maybe it is something that could happen for their birthday.

Kittens!

Here are three wee kitty’s in need of homes. We have 5 in one with one fosterer, three with another, so anyone looking for kittens look no further as we have loads to rehome.

There is also older cats as in up to a year old in Avenue Road Vets looking for their forever home too. Please get in touch if interested.

Apply For Homing

Day-time contact number.
An email we can reach you at. Does not have to yours, but you need access to it.
Type the name of the animal from the above description.
Please help us out by describing where you live, family members, and why you feel your home will be ideal. We WILL carry out a home inspection if you are chosen.
Please consent to your data being stored by us for future use internal to the society.
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What should I do before adopting an animal?

Any existing pets and your new arrival should be vaccinated for rabies, distemper, parvo, and other common diseases, as recommended by your vet. The bordatella (kennel cough) vaccine may also be recommended for dogs. There is a good chance that your new pet could be harboring a disease, and it isn’t wise to unnecessarily risk your other pets’ health. It would be ideal to keep incoming animals separate from your own pets for a period of time if you have the space to do so (and this is a must if you are introducing a dog that haven’t been fully vetted), but this isn’t always realistic since the animal will be living in your home as a member of the family.

In the case of dogs, make sure you have a well-fitted collar and ID tag. Remember that this dog doesn’t know you yet and might get spooked and run. Take all possible precautions. Better safe than sorry!

You will have to treat the new arrival like a puppy (or kitten!) at first. Puppy proof the house before he arrives. If he is young or has not been raised in a house, he might be destructive and not housetrained. You should set up a crate for him with bedding that can be easily cleaned or thrown away if soiled or chewed (like old towels).

If you choose not to use a crate, you should have a small, pet-safe room (like a laundry room) for when you cannot watch them. If you use an outdoor kennel for unsupervised time, make sure it is very secure (a cover or top is recommended) and be sure to provide appropriate shelter, shade, bedding, and clean water. Please also remember that cats like to be outside more than inside.

IPAAG reminds the public to beware of the pitfalls in responding to online ads for puppies

As Christmas approaches and the demand for puppies’ increases, the Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group (IPAAG) is reminding potential buyers to beware of the pitfalls of responding to online advertisements for puppies and other pets to ensure that they ask the right questions to avoid falling victim to rogue breeders, who put profits before animal welfare.


In 2015, leading animal welfare organisations (ISPCA, Dogs Trust, IHWT, Donkey Sanctuary, Irish Blue Cross and MADRA) along with representatives from the veterinary profession and websites advertising pets for sale joined forces to develop a set of minimum standards for websites to help protect the welfare of animals that are advertised online and ensure that any illegal activity is identified and investigated.

IPAAG has been targeting unscrupulous breeders by reporting inappropriate online adverts in breach of the IPAAG minimum standards where they were acting illegally and compromising the welfare of innocent animals to make a quick profit.

Since its launch, IPAAG has used Google Ads to educate people searching for pets being advertised online.  As a result over one million impressions and 22,485 clicks to the IPAAG website was reached specifically targeting people who were looking to source a pet online, but may not be aware of the risks or how to protect themselves from unscrupulous breeders. This highlights that people do want advice prior to getting a puppy, however they may not have thought to seek it or known where to go prior to seeing the IPAAG advertisements.

IPAAG Chairman Dr Andrew Kelly said:  “We would always encourage prospective pet owners to consider adopting an animal from a reputable rescue organisation. However, we recognise that people will often turn to their computers when looking to buy or sell almost anything and whether we like it or not that includes pets. Animal welfare organisations regularly hear from people who have sourced a pet online only for it to fall sick and in some cases die soon after, which is awful for the animal concerned and heart breaking for the owners. Anyone looking to get a new pet should follow the IPAAG check list to avoid the pit falls of becoming a victim of unscrupulous breeders. Some websites, such as Done Deal are very cooperative, are complying with the minimum standards and do report adverts of concern to the appropriate authorities, but others are less cooperative. I would also like to remind people to never give a puppy or any other animal as a surprise gift at Christmas or any other time of the year.”

IPAAG is urging anyone thinking of getting a new pet to carefully research where your new pet has originated from and to be aware of unscrupulous breeders who are putting profits before animal welfare. Getting a pet on impulse poses an enormous risk and to avoid unintentionally obtaining a pet from a rogue breeder, it is also important that you consider the long term commitment and financial resources required before taking on a new addition to the family.

Following on from the success of PAAG in the UK and IPAAG in Ireland, Blue Cross have developed EU PAAG through the EU Dog and Cat Alliance https://www.dogandcatwelfare.eu/about/ ; that provides a template for other EU Member States to develop a PAAG of their own. As a result, BelgPAAG has been set up in Belgium and five other member states are in the process of setting up PAAGs.

IPAAG check list:

  • Have you considered adopting a pet from a local rescue centre first?
  • If you have decided to go online to source a pet, ensure the website has signed up to the IPAAG minimum advertising standards.  Visit http://www.ipaag.ie for more information, tips and advice.
  • Different breeds have different requirements and temperaments. Research is important to ensure your new pet is suitable for your family and lifestyle.
  • If you have already completed your research, ask your vet to recommend a reputable breeder or contact the IKC (Irish Kennel Club) for advice if you are looking to get a pet.
  • Always ask to see mum and puppy interacting with each other and be concerned if you can’t.
  • Are the facilities clean and does the litter of puppies appear to be alert and healthy?  You should be able to handle the puppies freely under supervision.
  • Ensure any new pet is old enough to leave its mother – puppies need to be at least 8 weeks old.
  • Ask the breeder if they are registered under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010. If the answer is yes, ask to see the certificate issued by the Local Authority.
  • Microchipping is a legal requirement for all dogs and puppies once they are 12 weeks old. A puppy must be microchipped and the ownership transferred if applicable, even if this is before 12 weeks. It is very important that the change of ownership form is complete and the buyer must produce ID and proof of address to the seller.
  • Always ask for a copy of the veterinary records such as the vaccination certificate, microchipping details and treatment record for parasites. If you are unsure about it, speak to your local vet.
  • For pedigree puppies, check that the Irish Kennel Club registration papers and the parents’ hereditary disease screening certificates, where appropriate, are in order.
  • If you suspect a puppy has come from a commercial breeding establishment, please don’t take it out of pity.  You may think you are saving a puppy but you will be fuelling the puppy farm trade demand.
  • If in doubt, walk away and visit a reputable rescue centre
  • Wild or exotic species have specific needs and are for specialists. Is it dangerous, wild, or even endangered? Check it will make a suitable pet.

Office Admin Required

The Louth SPCA is keen to find somebody to volunteer full-time or part-time as an office administrator. Things have gotten so busy at our kennels and out on the road that there is hardly anybody about to man the phones and take care of the day-to-day administration stuff.

This job may well suit somebody who has just retired or suddenly finds themselves with a lot of free time. You would mostly be taking phone messages at our base of operations to be relayed to our Inspector Fiona but there would be other tasks also. A full driving license would certainly be ideal.

If this sort of volunteer work sounds appealing please email info@louthspca.ie with as much information about yourself as possible and why you feel you are up to the task. Include your phone number so we can get back to you in person.

Please also share this post with anyone who you think might like to help out. We may well finish up taking on several part-time admins rather than a full-time individual. If you are a student looking for some work experience over the summer, and would consider yourself reliable,  you are also welcome to apply!

Become a Louth SPCA Volunteer

We are constantly in need of volunteers and foster carers – to help out at our shelter, to assist in rehoming an animal, maybe fostering an animal while waiting for a good home, and to run and support fundraising events. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us and let us know.

Please either

Phone: 042 9335045

and leave a detailed message and your phone number, or

Email: info@louthspca.ie

with as much information as possible about yourself and your availability.

Don’t have the time to give? Please consider one of the following other ways to hep our cause:

  • Become an associate member of the society. This involves paying a small annual fee by post.
  • Make a small monthly donation by Standing Order.
  • Make a once off (or monthly) online donation via Paypal.

You will find details of all of the above throughout the site!