Non-profit res­cue cen­tre on the go for nearly 30 years

Bray People - - NEWS -

SINCE 1990 He­lena and Remi Le Mahieu have been tak­ing in hun­dreds of un­wanted dogs, cats and a va­ri­ety of other an­i­mals into their care at ASH An­i­mal Res­cue in Rath­dan­gan.

The non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion op­er­ate a strict no-kill pol­icy and cur­rently have 80 dogs un­der their care.

Last year ASH re-homed 80 cats, two don­keys, three guinea pigs and two rab­bits. From Jan­uary to June of 2016 He­lena and Remi man­aged to find new, lov­ing homes for 119 dogs.

How­ever, He­lena ad­mits that fund­ing is al­ways an is­sue.

‘We are still strug­gling fi­nan­cially and owe a lot to do­na­tions and fundrais­ers. We put a lot of our own life and time into ASH, and we do that be­cause it makes us happy, but we would be noth­ing with­out our staff, vol­un­teers and sup­port­ers. If it wasn’t for the do­na­tions we re­ceive we sim­ply wouldn’t be able to op­er­ate any­more.’

Un­for­tu­nately, He­lena and ASH still reg­u­larly come across an­i­mal cru­elty cases which hor­rify them de­spite their many years of ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘We had a poin­ter dumped here last week who is ex­tremely skinny. She is a very sweet girl but you can tell she has been through a lot. She is al­ways hunched over with her head down like she is ex­pect­ing the next blow to reign down on her.

‘Some­times the hurt in the in­side can be far greater than any phys­i­cal pain. Just be­cause the dog doesn’t have a big gap­ing wound doesn’t mean it hasn’t suf­fered some form of abuse. The men­tal pain can be just as bad.’

‘We took in an­other dog who had snare wounds on both of his legs right through to the bone. He was in ob­vi­ous dis­com­fort and in a lot of pain. He had to be put in in­ten­sive care and there was hor­ri­ble yel­low flesh grow­ing out of the wound. The vet said he was sur­prised For­est’s bone hadn’t al­ready snapped.

‘You get a lot of snares and traps around here. Only re­cently we were walk­ing around half a mile from our home when we found a big trap with a skele­ton of a fox in it. It was meant to be a trap and re­lease used for feral cats but this fox had been left to starve to death - a truly agonising death. In­ci­dents like that are hor­rific.

‘Re­cently in Car­low some CCTV cap­tured footage of kids still in their school uni­forms set­ting their lurcher dogs on any cats that passed by. Sadly in­ci­dents like these hap­pen ev­ery­where, not just in Wicklow.’

Since April of last year, all dogs in Ire­land must b e mi­cro-chipped and reg­is­tered on a recog­nised data base.

How­ever, He­lena ques­tions just how well the reg­u­la­tions are work­ing con­sid­er­ing a no­tice­able lack of scan­ners avail­able to the pub­lic.

‘ There are no scan­ners any­where so I don’t know how the Gar­dai are up­hold­ing the law. The chip­ping reg­u­la­tion has been law for the past eleven months but we are still re­ceiv­ing the same amount of un-chipped an­i­mals as be­fore.

‘On St Stephen’s Day we had a man from Dublin con­tact us to say a huge cat had walked into his home. No vets were avail­able and UCD only tackle emer­gen­cies so he brought the cat to us. We scanned it and were able to found out that the owner only lived a street away.

‘An­other per­son rang on a week­end to say they dis­cov­ered an in­jured cat while out walk­ing in Cabin­teely. Again there were no scan­ners in the lo­cal­ity so the cat was brought to us. We scanned it and it turned out the cat had been miss­ing from an En­niskerry fam­ily since Novem­ber 1. The fam­ily were over­joyed when they con­tacted us. It turned out to adopted a dog from ASH three years ago.

‘Ev­ery large com­mu­nity should have a scan­ner. They cost €220 each and we just do­nated one to the Maxol Ser­vice Sta­tion in Bless­ing­ton. Lost pets are usu­ally found at the week­end be­cause that is when peo­ple are out and about. Usu­ally vets are closed at that time of the week so a com­mu­nity scan­ner would al­low lost an­i­mals to be re­united with their own­ers more quickly.’

He­lena and Remi Le Mahieu of ASH in Rath­dan­gan, Wicklow.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.