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Pressure mounts on animal shelter as more unwanted puppies are brought to facility

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Pressure mounts on animal shelter as more unwanted puppies are brought to facility thumbnailPLEASE GIVE US A NEW HOME: Janice Porter, chairperson of Grovehill Animal Trust, gets an affectionate lick from one of the three adorable Collie-cross pups which are among the latest arrivals

THE pressure continues to mount at Grovehill Animal Shelter, Sixmilecross, as the arrival of nine more unwanted puppies within the past week threatens to put the area's only animal shelter into a precarious position.

Already having to prepare for the impending influx of pups born to an abandoned dog named 'Eve', who have been given a temporary home until they are older, the shelter now also has to accommodate two more litters after a couple of farmers made the decision they could not care for the animals.

The veterinary bill for each pup - which is paid by the shelter - is approximately 250 and considering the team mostly relies on donations, it is proving to be a testing time for Grovehill.

Having received their vaccinations, the first litter - three gorgeous Collie-cross pups - are ready to be re-homed. After some consideration, a farmer handed the animals into the shelter four months after they were born.

The six other Pointer-cross puppies are 14-weeks-old and will be ready for their new forever homes next week.

"Any of the nine puppies will prove to be a great addition to a family," assured Richard Robinson, co-ordinator of the shelter.

"The Pointer breed is a naturally working dog and need a family that is active outside to ensure they get the exercise they need. They will grow to be quite big.

"The Collie-cross pups are ready to be re-homed now. They're quite big already. A loyal dog, they also need plenty of exercise."

Richard's frustrations are growing as the message for pet owners to have their cats and dogs neutered and spayed continues to fall on deaf ears.

"I can't emphasise enough how important it is to take this necessary action," he said.

His annoyance was multiplied when the first of the unwanted puppies bought at Christmas arrived at the shelter recently.

"It was a lovely Beagle pup," explained Richard. "The man who called the shelter explained his daughter had begged him to get a pup for Christmas, so the family searched all over and eventually found one," Richard explained.

"However, just three weeks later, they no longer wanted the dog. Fortunately, the pet was vaccinated and was re-homed the following day.

"It is very frustrating. While the family did the right thing by phoning us - they didn't abandon the dog or leave it tied up in the back garden - they were completely irresponsible by buying the pup in the first place.

"If we weren't able to take the dog from him, what would have happened? A Beagle is a fantastic breed but they can be difficult and so it's obvious the family purchased the dog with little or no research."

The shelter remains at full capacity and the waiting list is expected to grow over the next few weeks as more people become disillusioned with their Christmas pups.

"We've actually taken in more animals this January than the previous year," added Richard.

A total of 10 cats have also arrived since the beginning of the month and again the worst is yet to come as March sees the start of 'kitten season'.

Meanwhile, the seven pups born to 'Eve' just before Christmas are not ready to be re-homed just yet. Keep an eye on the charity's Facebook page for further updates.

Continuing, Richard wishes to thank the community for their support during their Winter Appeal campaign.

"People from all across the province have strongly supported our Winter Appeal, but the backing from the local people is always the strongest. We've received monetary and food donations, as well as several cards of support. We'd like to thank the public for everything - we couldn't do without you."

To donate to Grovehill Animal Trust, you can text 'GHWT17 5' to 70070 or visit www.grovehillanimaltrust.org, click donate and then click on the Winter 2017 Appeal page.

You can also call in to the charity shop on 1 Foundry Lane, Omagh, BT781ED to donate, or post a cheque made payable to Grovehill Animal Trust at 88 Tiroony Road, Sixmilecross, BT799HB.

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