Pete the Vet on TV3’s Ireland AM: choose a rescue pet, don’t buy one

Don’t shop, adopt. This week on Ireland AM, we discussed the reasons why choosing a rescue pet is the best option.

You can watch the video at the foot of this page.

Due to the high numbers of animals being abandoned, rescue centres are struggling to cope with increased running costs and sufficient numbers of volunteers. One of those is Ash Animal Rescue who provide rehoming and rescue services to homeless animals across Leinster, primarily Carlow and Wicklow. In 2017, the volunteer-led group found forever homes for a staggering 150 kittens and 258 puppies.

This week, I brought three examples of rescue pets into the TV3 studio as examples.

  • Sebastian, a small terrier who was picked up with his mother close to Ash just before the big snow. They were 2 of a total of 6 dogs picked up there over a 10 day period. None of them chipped, all of them in a state of neglect. He is a cheerful chappie, has been fully groomed and neutered as well as vaccinated and micro chipped. We think he is between 12 and 18 months old. The minimum re-homing donation is €130, which goes towards the cost of the above.
  • Two young female rabbits were surrendered to ASH 2 weeks ago. They are about 5-6 months old. Not neutered or vaccinated.
    For the rabbit they ask for a €20/per rabbit donation.

There is absolutely no need to buy a pet, whether you want a rabbit, dog, cat or indeed any animal
To take dogs as an example, in the most recent statistics (2016), there were around 12500 dogs entering Irish dog pounds in the year, of which 5000 were reclaimed by owners, 6000 were sent to rehoming/rescue centres and around 1500 were euthanased. So the more dogs that can be rehomed, the fewer dogs will end up being euthanased in the future.

There are rescue centres around the country overflowing with pets that need homes. ASH are only one of many.
To find a rescue animal in your own area, see
Today, for example, the website lists 48 dogs, 1 cat and one turtle. Other days there are far more animals up online.
There are also many animals available for adoption that are not online: contact your local animal rescue group to find out more

The rescueanimalsireland website suggests these simple tips

  • Step 1 – Plan

    Is your lifestyle suited to providing daily care, love and attention? Upfront costs and ongoing expenses, like food and vet bills, also need to be considered. Do up a budget to include how much time you have and how much money you have. Only get a pet if you have enough time and money
    If you don’t, consider fostering animals or helping out at your local rescue

  • Step 2 – Search

    Use the search box on to check out some pets that are available. There are animals from rescues, pounds and private rehomings listed. They include dogs, cats, exotic pets (rabbits, guinea pigs, birds etc), farm animals, and reptiles.
    You can also search for volunteer posts at rescue centres around the country.

  • Step 3 – Contact

    Once you’ve found the pet you’d like to welcome into your family, contact the advertiser and make an appointment to visit their home or the rescue centre to check them out properly. Don’t choose a pet that you feel sorry for – it’s far better to choose an animal that is likely to settle in well with you, and one that you have the proper resources to care for in the best possible way. My view is that you should choose one that is healthy, and that you immediately like, and that immediately likes you. Let your heart choose, but make sure your head makes the final call. Ideally meet the parents of a young animal: like humans, most pets grow up to be similar to their parents. And once you get the animal home, it’s best to go straight to your own vet to get the animal checked over properly in case there are hidden problems that you had not noticed.

  • Step 4 – Visit

    You may have to have your own home inspected to ensure that the animal is going to be properly cared for by you
    This is normal and nothing to be worried about. It is a sign that the rescue centre is responsible.

Watch the video below to learn more


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