The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue announced today (Thursday, December 7) funding of €6 million to 101 animal welfare charities nationwide.

The funding is an increase of €200,000 on last year, with an additional focus on supporting charities involved in rehoming dogs.

The funding announcement was made on the third annual animal welfare awareness day during a visit by the minister to the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA). 

Minister McConalogue said “Animal welfare is a priority for me and for my department and is important to us all in Ireland.

“These grants will support these organisations in the vital work they do across the country, protecting, rescuing and taking care of animals, and providing education and guidance so as to prevent welfare problems from arising in many cases.”

The minister added that people should think “carefully” before getting a pet for Christmas.

He asked people to consider these questions:

  • Is this particular type of pet the right choice for you?;
  • Is your home right for the type of pet?;
  • Is your lifestyle suitable?;
  • Have you carefully considered the financial costs of taking care of an animal?;
  • Have you considered the responsibilities of a pet owner? Dogs must be licensed and microchipped, and kept under control according to the regulations;
  • Will the pet be responsibly sourced? For example, consider adopting a dog from a shelter or charity.

The minister said he acknowledged the work done by animal welfare charities in “challenging circumstances” this year.

Animal welfare at Christmas

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) also announced the launch of its Christmas campaign today.

The campaign is aimed at raising crucial funds for the charity and spreading a vital message about responsible pet ownership.

Former journalist, Charlie Bird will head the campaign, after adopting a dog called Tiger just a couple of years ago.

Bird said: “In embracing Tiger into my life, I’ve learned the true meaning of friendship and unconditional love.

“I’m proud to support the ISPCA’s Christmas campaign, as we encourage everyone to consider the responsibility that comes with pet ownership. Let’s remember, a pet is not just for Christmas, but for life. Together, let’s extend the hand of friendship to our furry friends.”