Grants for Irish animal welfare groups, dog theft & listeners’ questions: Pete the Vet on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show

Animal welfare funding from the Irish government

The Irish government has just announced awards of €2,460,500 to 137 animal welfare organisations. This happens every year: last year it was €2,541,000 to 140 organisations, in 2014 it was €1,867,200 to 142 organisations. Simon Coveney presided over a big increase last year; this year Michael Creed has brought it down a little, but this is still highly significant sum of money.

I am always very positive about this: I think it is rare for governments to give money directly to animal welfare groups (in the UK, the government makes no grants like this: it is all funded by private donations ) The government only gives this money if groups comply with specific animal welfare rules and conditions so I think it’s a great way of helping the animal welfare sector while at the same time encouraging compliance with good practice. I think it’s a laudable Irish government enterprise that deserves to be praised.

But when I report it on my FB page, there are loads of nay sayers complaining about the situation. What upsets people particularly is that the government gives €17 million to the Greyhound Industry: this is certainly contentious, but what’s often not realised is that the greyhound money comes directly from taxes on bets on greyhound races, so it can be argued that it is self funding: the money wouldn’t be there if there was no greyhound racing. I am not saying that any funds should be given to greyhound racing, but simply that I see it as a separate issue from the animal welfare funding. Just because the government is not perfect does not mean that it should not be praised when it does make good decisions.

Dog theft

The recent theft of a Boxer dog called Finn has again provided a reminder of the risk of leaving dogs unattended outside. As I say in the podcast, I believe the Gardai should have a dedicated team devoted to dealing with dog theft on a national scale. There are specialist aspects to this work, and it is not easy for local gardai when faced with distraught owners.

Questions from listeners

  • We found an abandoned kitten near us a few months ago and he is thriving. We aren keeping him and just wondering where best place to get em vaccinated and neutered? Do the ISPCA do it? Sean in Wexford
  • My 15 year old lab has bad hips, and finds it hard to get up in the morning. Can I give painkillers and anti inflammatory meds together? Brian in Wexford
  • Can I give a black Labrador a Drontal worm tablet, as he is on Thyroxal 0.5. I am looking after him for a few weeks for my daughter. He is 8. From Breda
  • I have Goulding finches who are going bald, what can I do?
  • Could you ask the Vet for any ideas how to stop my dog, almost 11 months old, from barking when the doorbell rings or someone knocks on the door? Have tried stopping him and when he stops barking give him a treat but doesn’t always work.
  • I have a 5 month old Terrier cross, she has done her poop twice in her crate in last two weeks, even though I thought she was fully trained just wondering what went wrong?
  • We are getting a new family dog in New Year ( old loved dog died during year) we want to get another Shih Tzu . My husband also wants to get a German Shepherd Would both dogs live in harmony? Space is not a problem.
  • Our 6 yr old German Shorthaired pointer is indoors when we’re home and in the garden when we’re at work. The last few months he has been clawing & biting the door, knocking over the bins, chewing outdoor pipes etc. We never know what we’re going to find when we return home. We have a large garden with an electric fence. Do you think we should get a large wire crate for him to stay in inside the house when we are gone? Tom in Meath.
  • I have a dog who is a male and a cross between a small Spaniel and a Jack Russell {i think} he is getting very bloated I don’t over feed him at all and he get exercise every day but he is like a barrel! He was neutered at about 2 months ago but I think he had started to blow up prior to that, he seems happy and quite fit. what can you suggest might be causing it? From Tess
  • We came home the other night and our dog was howling .. is that how she communicates with other dogs? We have moved to a new area with lots of dogs in surrounding houses or is she distressed?
  • My Labrador has a yeast infection, how do I treat it?

To find out the answers to these questions, listen to the podcast below.


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