Heartwarming tale of 14 unwanted Chihuahuas who have all been found loving forever homes.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Heartwarming tale of 14 unwanted Chihuahuas who have all been found loving forever homes. thumbnailRichard Robinson, second from left, Grovehill Animal Shelter co-ordinator, receives a cheque for 2,500 from Caroline Neville and kind-hearted Una Bourke from Erne Insurance

A kind-hearted and generous Tyrone Constitution reader has donated a substantial sum of money to Grovehill Animal Trust for its shelter in Sixmilecross, after learning of the charity's struggles in this newspaper following the arrival of 14 Chihuahuas.

The animals, which range from three months to four years of age, were given a temporary home in the local shelter as their owner simply could no longer adequately care for such a large number.

Quite incredibly, each of the 14 Chihuahuas have now successfully found their new loving forever homes ahead of the festive season.

Obviously treating and caring for the animals at the animal shelter came at a significant cost - close to an eye-watering 4,000 - as each of the dogs needed vaccinated, spayed, neutered, microchipped, treated for mites and fleas and wormed.

A number of them also needed treatment for chest infections, ear mites and dental issues.

However, once again the local community rallied behind their local animal charity, with an Irvinestown woman going the extra mile to help the cause.

In a fantastic act of generosity, Una Bourke, of Erne Insurance in the North Fermanagh town, donated the total sum of 2,500.

"I was reading the article in the Tyrone Constitution," explained Una, who is originally from Tyrone.

"I love dogs, I come from a farming background and I actually live on a farm so I love animals generally. I also donated money to Bright Eyes Animal Sanctuary in Ballinamallard. I am very proud to have donated the money - businesses should always support the community that supports them."

Paying tribute to the local community, Richard Robinson, co-ordinator of Grovehill, said: "The arrival of a large group of Chihuahuas to the shelter resulted in a whirlwind of activity.

"We got straight to work dealing with all of their immediate medical needs. All dogs were vaccinated, spayed or neutered, microchipped, treated for mites, fleas and worms. Their nails were clipped and all were groomed by Kerry from K9 Grooming, who kindly donated her time for free.

"We had to spend a lot of time with the dogs to build up their trust and get them used to being handled. Slowly but surely, we built up their confidence and we saw remarkable improvements in their wellbeing.

"The interest from the public in rehoming these little guys was unprecedented.

We quickly lost count of the amount of phone calls and messages we received, with some people even unable to get through on the phone!

"We can proudly report that all 14 dogs have been successfully rehomed and we have already been doing follow-up calls to find out how they are. All are settling in well after being a little nervous for the first few days.

"Once again, the public answered our plea for financial help so generously. We received donations not only from the local Omagh area, but further afield in Belfast, Newtownards and Crumlin.

This was not only money to help with medical costs, but bedding and food also. From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank everyone who contributed.

"After reading about the dogs in the Tyrone Constitution, Una Bourke, from Erne Insurance in Irvinestown, decided to make a very generous donation towards the care of the dogs.

Heartfelt thanks to her also and congratulations on 33 years in business!

"We can't explain how truly grateful we are to every single person who donated big or small especially with Christmas approaching.

We know how hard financially it can be for people so it is amazing that we have been able to give these little dogs the happy and safe future they deserve." Full capacity Continuing, Richard said that the shelter remains at full capacity and November had been their busiest month of the year thus far.

"Thankfully these little guys are now the lucky ones but our work continues," he said.

"As always, the shelter is at full capacity. We have had our busiest month this year rehoming cats and dogs which is fantastic, but frustratingly 'kitten season' just doesn't seem to be ending this year.

We are still being contacted daily in worryingly high numbers about mother cats and their kittens. We would like to remind the public to please neuter and spay their cats to stop unwanted kittens being born.

"We are now approaching our busiest time of the year which is always a worrying time to think about what will be coming our way in January with high numbers of unwanted Christmas pets.

You can support our work by buying one of our calendars from our online shop (, from our Charity Shop on Foundry Lane and other outlets around Omagh.

"You can also donate via our website ( and click the donate button), or text "GHCW17 5" to 70070 to donate a fiver.

Visit our charity shop to make a donation in person at any time, or to browse through our many bargains. And finally, you can send a cheque made payable to Grovehill Animal Trust with your contact details to 88 Tiroony Road Sixmilecross BT79 9HB.

"Once again, thank-you to all of our supporters and everything you do. We are the only animal shelter in the local area, we belong to the community, and as such we would not survive without your continued and generous support. Together we are giving homeless animals a future."


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