LIMERICK Animal Welfare has transformed the lives of 18 mistreated dogs by giving them new luxury homes in Italy.
The greyhounds and lurchers were in a neglected state, carried injuries or had mange when they arrived at the animal sanctuary in Kilfinane. Some were not socialised and very nervous of humans. Sanctuary manager, Marie Quirke said over the months in their care the dogs were treated for their injuries and skin conditions.
“All were vaccinated, wormed, flea treated and neutered. Those with mental damage took more time to heal but all made great progress with the help of the great team at LAW and the volunteers who walked them every day,” said Marie. LAW has strong links with Pet Levrieri, based in Milan, and have sent canines to Italy before. The dogs received rabies vaccinations, were microchipped, got passports and were checked by a vet 24 hours before travelling. The Department of Agriculture ensures the dogs are fit to travel and approve the transport.
Marie says the trip is well planned, takes 52 hours with many stops for exercise, feeding and rest. On arrival in Italy, the dogs are taken for a good walk before being checked by a vet. They are fed and spend the last night in the care of the three strong LAW team.
“The next morning the gathering of the new owners is filled with excitement, the air is electric as the dogs arrive and owners sneak a peek to catch a first glance of their new pets. Owners have been waiting months to meet their dogs who have been well matched to the family with the help of Italian rescue Pet Levrieri.
“The joy on the faces of the new owners as they each meet their new dog is heart warming. The dogs will now be treated as members of their families. Some of these greyhounds come from owners who kept them locked in sheds for up to 22 hours a day. The dogs will never know imprisonment again,” said Marie. They also met owners who had previously adopted. We saw Peig, a small lurcher who was found dumped in Limerick city with a severe injury to her front leg. She now lives with a dentist and travels to work with him every day. Womble lost a leg to a severe injury but now runs like the wind on three legs.
“Micky was a greyhound who was too slow on the track. He now has a life that every dog should enjoy,” said Marie. “There is no greyhound racing in Italy and the pounds have a no kill policy. All stray dogs in pounds have to be rehomed, it’s the law. We travelled home feeling elated knowing that our job was done and that 18 dogs were safe and settled with people who will continue to take care of them in their forever homes,” she adds.
LAW will start preparing 18 more dogs for the next trip but hope for funds to help. To donate contact 063 91110 or 087 6371077 or log onto www.limerickanimalwelfare.com