A dog shelter in Galway says it is overwhelmed with surrender requests because of the soaring cost of living.
Madra services the counties of Galway and Mayo where many people can simply no longer afford to care for an animal and the housing crisis means others cannot find pet friendly accommodation:
“Everybody is struggling in the country,” Madra’s founder, Marina Fiddler, told Newstalk.
“The consequences of COVID are really showing themselves now and there’s more to come.
“But whatever is happening to people is also happening to animals; so if there’s more people financially distressed or suffering from anxiety or ill-health - that all transfers to the pet dogs as well.
“So we’re seeing the results of that now.”
Vets bills often cost thousands of euros and as people’s incomes are squeezed even paying for routine medication becomes a struggle:
“We’re had a few vets contacting us where the owner of the dog cannot afford basic vetcare,” she said wearily.
“They can’t afford to pay their insurance premiums for vet insurance. The knock on effect is that more and more dogs are in trouble.”
Another problem for the charity is that many of the dogs are not used to people - having spent much of their lives in lockdown - and as a result have behaviour issues:
“They take up so much time that it causes a huge backlog in the system,” she said wearily.
“I just don’t know where it’s going to end.
“If you felt it was going to end soon you could grin and bear it but the thought that this has been relentless for the last six months and it’s not showing any signs of easing up - that is a huge concern.”
Main image: A puppy at a rescue centre for dogs. Picture by: SHELTER DOGS / Alamy Stock Photo