No Dog Left Behind


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Killkenny city centre, last night.

A candle light vigil for Carlow/Kilkenny rescue dogs.

And a plea for no kill animal shelters.

Maura Rua from Chance Wicklow writes:

We are an advocacy group for pound dogs. We started out some years ago because of concerns about the dog pound in Wicklow. We soon saw the need to broaden our work to other pounds, particularly pounds run by the ISPCA which had high kill rates. The Carlow/Kilkenny pound was run by the ISPCA up to recently and the licence is going out to tender. This is the first time ever the Carlow/Kilkenny dog pound and warden service contract has gone out to tender

In recent years there has been much more awareness of the need for welfare concerns to be addressed in pounds. The mentality of rounding up and killing healthy harmless dogs is abhorrent to those who see a better way forward by rehoming dogs.

Around 99% of pound dogs are rehome-able – it is a complete myth that there are large amounts of savage dangerous dogs in pounds – the only thing wrong with pound dogs is their former feckless owners.

In 2013, the last year for which official figures are available:
Carlow had an intake of 247 dogs of which 64 were killed = 29%
Kilkenny took in 310 dogs of which 66 were killed =21%
Carlow Pound and dog warden service cost €108,000
Kilkenny Pound and dog warden service cost €103,00

In contrast Leitrim took in 529 dogs – roughly the same as Carlow /Kilkenny combined:
Leitrim killed 7 dogs = 1%
Leitrim cost €47,000 to run.
Leitrim Animal Welfare run the county pound for Leitrim.

It is only in comparing what is achieved at other pounds with far fewer resources that a true picture of what is happening can be seen. The statistics then become meaningful.

Chance Wicklow (Facebook)

Thanks Padraig O’Ceallaigh

30 thoughts on “No Dog Left Behind

  1. Paddy

    It’s been a long day, I care about animal welfare; can anyone distill this text down to the core issue at stake please?

    1. Mary B.

      Please dont let this animal collection group get the tender, so many animal welfare groups looking to help. let them get the tender for the pound and have it run properly with the welfare of the animals no. 1 priority. Give hope where there is none. The pound has such a bad name at the moment . help change this.

  2. Soundings

    Amazing statistics if you believe them, Leitrim took in 529 dogs and killed 7, so the other 522 dogs were rehomed or sheltered. According to Census 2011, there are 32,000 people in Leitrim (believe it’s the least populous county in Ireland). So, unless the 522 dogs are going to be exported, they’re going to try to rehome one dog per 60 people?

    Well done to people who get their dogs from shelters, but there’s not an undersupply of dogs without pedigrees, and it’s more economically efficient to euthanise them, and spend the the savings on educating “feckless owners”.

    I’ll save my cash for a more deserving (and human-linked) charity.

    1. Madrarua

      Leitrim dogs are not all rehomed in Leitrim, why would they be? The statistics are based on those available on the department of the environmental dog control statistics. AND No it’s not more economical to kill dogs, rehoming generates money with a rehoming fee. Killing costs – more than lives. Being kind to humans goes hand in hand with kindness to animals, neither cause is less worthy.

      1. Soundings

        “Killing costs more than sheltering”?


        Boarding a medium sized dog for a month costs around €500.How much will someone pay for a sheltered dog, does that include shots?

        Euthanising a dog and disposing of the carcass costs around €100

        How long is the average dog sheltered?

        Of course, sheltering will cost less than boarding, but if you could get a charitable euthanising/disposal service, it still seems economically more efficient to euthanise.

        Of course people looking for non-pedigree/papered dogs should always go to a shelter first. I’d even give money to stop animal cruelty, but not to sustain the lives of economically unfeasible dogs.

    2. Nicky

      If you have any doubts about the stats provided you can check for yourself on the DoE website. Pound figures published annually. You really should have some idea what you’re talking about before you throw stones. Also, there is no requirement to rehome a dog in the county is was picked up in. If you chose to support “human-linked” charities, good for you. Not sure why you also feel the need to pour your ignorant scorn on those you chose to speak out for the voiceless animals. How we treat defenceless animals as a society speaks volumes about how we treat our fellow humans. I hope you find somebody worthy of your compassion… if you have any

    3. Spartacus

      If we’re aiming for economic efficiency then euthanising the feckless owners should be top of the agenda, spare the dogs.

      BTW, your figures are predicated on the unfounded assumption that dogs adopted from the Leitrim pound are rehomed solely by Leitrim residents. There’s a little mutt currently snoring very contentedly on the sofa who came from a pound at the other end of the country from me.

    4. Jakey


      I ‘m really interested/ amazed at reading posts like yours – the illogical, knee jerk reaction is pretty impressive. Obviously you see issues only in black and white, rush to make judgement and then seal your position at the end. Plenty of shades of grey here. The debate might be about charity, animal rights, local government, economics, societal attitudes etc. Open your mind, just a tad.

    5. Iseult

      Feck pedigree!!
      Crossbreeds are tough and hardy and frequently have better balanced temperaments
      Lack of so – called “pedigree” has killed too many beautiful animals.
      In the long run all dogs decendants from wolves & wild dogs…
      Feckin snobbery….

  3. Paddy

    Ok, so there are voluntary groups willing to do this work, with a view to rehousing but both councils can’t be bothered? No consideration for animal welfare, just cheapest tender gets the job? But how can you get any cheaper than voluntary groups etc? Doesn’t make sense

  4. Deirdre Ryan

    Great turnout and well done the people of Kilkenny for speaking out for the dogs !! For two long the fate of these dogs has rested in the hands of the ISPCA ,who cared very little about their welfare . I know this from my experiences at Clare pound . 50 % of dogs were killed there last year . Anything that is rehomed is done so without homecheck , no vaccinations , worming , neutering / castrating or chipping done . How many of these end up out on the road ,killed or getting into trouble , or back in the pound a few months later full of pups ?? Thankfully this pound will reportedly be up for tender soon . This is supposed to be a good thing .. A positive opertunity for change and reform . I hope the powers that be at Clare County Council are paying attention to this and seeing how NOT to decide on a tender ….

    1. Will-billy

      Why should the public pay for your weird dog fetish? And why not squirrels or foxes? Who’s going to save the pine marten?!!!

      1. Casey

        You’re ABSOLUTELY right! The world sure just adhere to your ‘do-nothing’ fetish with optional snarkiness.

        Sofa warriors of the world ….. untie … and do nothing and know nothing cos it is easier.

        Change the argument to say ‘don’t worry about THAT because there is THIS (not really, just being a snark – fnar fnar!!) because god forbid you do something to make the world a better place for a person, for many people, for many animals or one poor abandoned dog.

      2. maura

        The pound system costs the country over 5 million euro a year, so its important that a humane system insures value for money. Nothing weird about liking dogs, it’s some people that are difficult to like

        1. Will-billy

          As a dog lover myself the pound system is for the control of stray dogs which if not required by society should be disposed of humanely. The high mortality rates bespeak a system that is very efficient.I believe the same about people so not sure what you’re on about there. Your proposal is to use public funds to support your hobby. And in so doing create a quango, with nice jobs for your fellow hobbyIsts. Nice try but pay for it yourself.

          1. Madra

            The pound system is neither efficient or effective. For years councils have rounded up and killed dogs. But that hasn’t solved the problem. A new proactive policy is needed in pounds, killing for convenience does not work. Why would anyone have a problem with that?

          2. Jeffery

            Will-billy, youre very cut and dry with your thinking and this seems to the the attitude of the people who run this country right now..and look how well thats going?
            If youre going to make remarks;
            1 Do some research
            2 Get your facts straight
            ‘Humane’ killing had been shown not to be the answer, it speaks for itself really doesnt it? If it worked then over the last 10 years even, numbers of dogs in Ireland would be down to a small number, so, clearly it doesnt.
            If the Government at any level wants to sort out this issue, they must implement things and spend money in a way to diminish numbers of dogs.
            1 Actually implement laws and make them tighter, to stop all the indiscriminate breeding and ‘puppy farming’ Employ people to ensure breeders abide by these laws.
            2. Educate from 5 upwards. Instill the caring attitude into children.
            3. Implement a good neutering scheme, its been shown to be the only way to diminish numbers in other countries (in EU). Money given to Pounds (by the Government) run mainly on a voluntary basis by caring people can be used to achieve this and the dogs will only be released for rehoming when neutered, thus preventing further stray puppies.

            There is a market for carcasses otherwise businesses such as the one tendering and hoping to take over this Pound (the one already killing 90%+ of horses it impounds) would not be desperate to get their hands on it.

            Think outside the box

  5. Nicky

    What is of most concern to me here is that Carlow/Kilkenny councils have announced the successful tenderer for the running of the pound and dog control service is a carcass disposal company. The councils have an obligation under the Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013 to safeguard and to do nothing that threatens the health and welfare of animals in their care. Failure to do so is an offence under the Act. Awarding the dog warden service contract to a carcass disposal company is, in my view, incompatible with these obligations. Such a company has neither the experience nor incentive to implement policies and procedures that have the welfare of the dogs at their core. Why would they if they can potentially profit from their deaths? Surely there is a conflict of interests here. As outlined above, there are alternative, cost effective ways to run a pound where the welfare of the dog takes precedence. There is still time to raise objects. The contract is in mandatory standstill until midnight 11 Feb.

      1. Joe the Lion

        It’s hardly a low for humanity to seek to care for the welfare of unwanted animals.

        The dogs should host their own vigil for the death of common sense on the internet.

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