That's amore: Dogs lurch from loathing in Limerick to love in Italy thanks to LAW

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Buona fortuna: Lurchers and greyhounds that were often mistreated or abused in Ireland are welcomed with love and compassion and open arms in Italy

Buona fortuna: Lurchers and greyhounds that were often mistreated or abused in Ireland are welcomed with love and compassion and open arms in Italy

TWENTY greyhounds and lurchers have said arrivederci to Limerick and ciao to Italy.

Since 2012, Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW) has linked up with Pet Levrieri in Milan to rehome dogs. Often these animals have been abused or mistreated but after being nursed back to health and cared for in the sanctuary in Kilfinane they are now being treated like royalty in Italy.

Marie Quirke, sanctuary manager, said: “These are the lucky ones”.  

“It is a life that only a greyhound or lurcher can dream of,” she said.

These breeds of dogs are very popular in Italy, whereas in Ireland they are seen more as racing and coursing dogs.

Marie says they make “wonderful pets”. She would prefer to see them being rehomed in Ireland but the demand just isn’t there. It is completely different in Italy.

“On the day of adoption a huge crowd gathered, media covered the event and the families welcomed their greyhounds and lurchers into their lives,” she said. This latest transportation of dogs brings the numbers to around 200 that Limerick Animal Welfare has helped live la dolce vita.

“Four rescues came together to make this trip possible -GSPCA, Erin Hounds and Limerick Animal Welfare,  who took in and cared for the unwanted greyhounds and abandoned lurchers until they were ready for new homes. Italian rescue Pet Levrieri, in Milan, sourced homes where these dogs would become part of families.

“Our thanks too must go to Avril and Anthony, from Limerick Animal Welfare, who travelled with the dogs to make sure they were fed and exercised on the 40 hour journey, and arrived safe and well at their destination,” said Marie.

It is far from a matter off just loading them up and heading for the ferry. 

The adoption process starts months in advance of the big day. Profiles and photographs are sent from Ireland to Italy for prospective owners.  Before travelling, all dogs must be issued with a pet passport, get a rabies vaccination and have a vet check.