More older dogs left out in the cold before Christmas, DSPCA reveals
The DSPCA says it saw an increase in the number of animals needing its care last year, with a significant spike in the number of abandoned and unwanted puppies.
As part of a winter initiative, the animal charity revealed one of the most shocking statistics of 2017 - a significant increase in the number of abandoned dogs aged 10 years or older.
In the two weeks leading up to Christmas alone, the charity received more than 140 calls from people looking to part company with older family pets, either due to deciding to get a younger dog or wanting to avoid the additional labour involved in caring for an older animal.
During 2017, the DSPCA re-homed more than 2,500 animals in Dublin, including dogs, cats, horses, and farm animals, as well as rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters and birds.
It also dealt with a huge increase in the volume of exotic animals arriving into the shelter, including snakes, tropical birds, scorpions and spiders.
Dublin model and DSPCA ambassador Thalia Heffernan was on hand to help Visa announce that its winter contactless charity initiative raised €7,614 for the DSPCA.
Thalia told of how important the animal charity is to her - adding it was where she found her dog, Len.
"I am honoured to be able to use my voice to further the message of the incredible work of the DSPCA," she said.
"The DSPCA rescued my Leonard as a puppy, after he was abandoned at only a few months old.
"I can't bear to think what would have happened to him if it wasn't for the DSPCA."
Speaking about the Visa fundraising initiative, DSPCA chief executive Brian Gillen said: "The money raised from the contactless fundraiser will provide 10 weeks' of specialised milk for over 50 abandoned puppies, or fully vaccinate over 150 homeless and abused animals."