Animal welfare charity at centre of probe ‘cleans up its act’

An animal welfare charity, given three months to “clean up its act”, has said it complied with all proposals put forward in an independent probe.

The Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) shelter at Mahon had been subjected to site inspections by Cork City Council in June, which found some welfare deficiencies.

Concerns included the bagging of dead animals in a freezer storage unit and issues surrounding documentation when accepting, or signing over, pets.

However, the standard of veterinary care was found to have been “satisfactory”.

Brian McDonagh, CSPCA spokesperson, said issues raised have since been remedied, including the colour coding and bagging of animals in their freezer system.

“We did everything that was asked of us,” he said. “People assumed the freezer was full of dogs put down by the CSPCA which was not the case.

“There was no problem with the old system either. Any vet who saw the freezer up until then saw no problem with it.

“It was also not the case that we had no paperwork— everything that comes through us is documented.

“The vet that saw us that day just wanted the forms completed in a different style,” he said.

Stephen Scully of the environment directorate in Cork City Council said there was continuing contact with the centre.

However, he said there would be no official review of the premises until September.

The CSPCA cannot refuse animals, according to Mr McDonagh.

If dogs are aggressive or troublesome, they are as a last resort “put down” by a vet. He said the number of animals taken in by the CSPCA had risen by 30%-40% on last year.

According to the society’s spokesperson Chris Connolly, the facility is overflowing with pets, with around 60 to 70 dogs and 40 cats in need of new homes.

“We are absolutely full to capacity at the moment,” he said. “Most of these animals are strays and we are also getting a large amount of animals surrendered.

“The numbers have increased dramatically in the last year or so. I believe this is due to people emigrating along with immigrants returning to their home countries. Possibly, also, some people cannot afford veterinary bills.”


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