Clare Animal Welfare have announced details of their Spay and Neuter programme for 2020.

Ciara Copeland tells of how a revitalisation within the voluntary organisation has allowed for some serious issues to be addressed such as a spike in dogs being surrendered and of how a network of members are at hand to step in a support these animals. Ciara sheds light on the Spay and Neutering campaign, acknowledging its prevalence for pet owners, veterinary practices and animal welfare groups as a whole.

Last year’s scheme was noted as an incredible success. Typical costs of having your pet spayed or neutered sits in and around €160 and Clare Animal Welfare agreed that if clients fronted €100, then they would pay the balance.

During the month of August, the campaign saw ninety-five dogs neutered or spayed under the scheme in addition to eighty cats at a cost to CAW of just over €6000 Clare Animal Welfare also subsidised the cost of microchipping so that dog owners could meet their legal obligation to have their pet chipped. Dog owners are required by law to have their pet chipped and the chip number registered on a database.

Ciara tells of one prominent issue in relation to micro-chipping, “If your dog is over the age of twelve weeks, you are obliged by law to have it micro-chipped and that chip registered to a database. That is one of the biggest problems. A lot of people go and get their dog chipped, which is great but then they don’t actually register to a database. When we go out and find a dog we are delighted to find a chip, but when the dog isn’t registered to a database it causes problems. Your vet can assist you in this at the time of micro-chipping. The micro-chip subsidy is also an extra incentive for this.”

The problem of feral cats is as salient as ever in the county of Clare. Ciara alludes to a cultural issue in Ireland whereby owners don’t tend to get their cats neutered. Cats can come into session as early as six months and male cats will stray over large areas to find a mate. Males will fight for a partner spreading deadly diseases such as Feline Aids and Feline Leukaemia. As well as having an enormous number of kittens to find homes for, Clare Animal Welfare are also seeing very large numbers of poorly kittens with dreadful diseases like cat flu and panleukopenia. Ciara notes a feral cat problem all over the county, with massive colonies being reported on a frequent basis.

“This year, we are hoping the Spay and Neutering scheme will be bigger and better. A lot of people don’t travel and we just want to make it as easy as possible for everybody by subsidizing the cost. One misconception is that neutering your dog will lead to a weight problem. This is not true. If you provide your dog with a healthy lifestyle, they won’t become overweight. We are getting a lot of people contacting us saying that their cat is pregnant, and they don’t know how it happened. We just want to make it as easy as possible for people to get their cat or dog spayed or neutered.”

Again this year, Clare Animal Welfare are making it as easy as possible for people to participate in the scheme by partnering with vet practises all over the county. All clients need do is contact a vet on the list and book their animal for the procedure. Funds are limited so cliients are advised to contact their vet as soon as possible. Participating vets are listed below:

Ballyhugh Vets, Gort (for Clare clients only), Ceithre Cos Vets, Tulla, Ennis Vet Clinic, Clon Road, Ennis, Jerry O’Connor, Quin Road, Ennis, Harvey’s Vets, Kilrush, Rowanberry Vets, Doora, Ennis, Scariff Vets, Shannon Vets, Summerhill Vets, Ennis, The Pet Vet, Ballinderreen (for Clare clients only), Treaty Vets, Shannon.

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