Kitty Hostel volunteers take a chilly fundraising dip on St Stephen’s Day
THE swimmers dipped themselves not once, but twice, in the Irish Sea last Friday for the St Stephen’s Day fundraiser for Greystones Kitty Hostel.
Run by Greystones woman Louise Cardiff and her team of loyal volunteers, the hostel specialises in the ‘ trap, neuter, return’ (TNR) of adult feral cats, providing vet care, and socialising and re-homing kittens. This fundraiser was to raise awareness and animal welfare funds to microchip domestic cats and cover the TNR costs of feral cats.
The vet bill for the organisation is now paid however fundraising is ongoing as the amount of kitties in need continues to increase.
It was a blustery and rough day with fairly busy waves troubling the shore at Greystones South Beach. However, those less than perfect conditions did not deter the swimmers from staying in the water for a couple of minutes rather than dashing in for just a second. Their supporters were happy to watch from dry land, well wrapped up in warm coats.
The hostel is there to help relieve the distress suffered by abandoned cats and those born in the wild. It reached the news headlines on a previous occasion, when a cat was ‘shot’ in a episode of Irish drama Love/Hate in October 2013. The moggy had been rescued by Greystones Kitty Hostel two years prior to that on the side of the road, and the thespian cat’s trainer was Eddie Drew of Copsewood Aviary in Kilmacanogue.
Just before Christmas the hostel received government funding of €1,000. Minister Simon Coveney announced funding of over €1.8 million for 142 organisations involved in delivering animal welfare services throughout the country.
‘2014 has been challenging and at times difficult and continuing reports of animal cruelty have highlighted the need to assist animal welfare organisations in their work,’ said the minister.
Simon Lang, Louise Cardiff and Kerri Hempenstall get a blast of icy water as they prepare to stay in the water for at least two minutes – which they did – at the Greystones Kitty Hostel St Stephen’s Day swim.
Sash Travers, Louise Cardiff, Kerri Hempenstall and Simon Lang head for the sea at the Greystones Kitty Hostel St Stephen’s Day swim.