GARDAI are to be honoured for their fight against animal cruelty and neglect in a new awards scheme from the Limerick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
LSPCA is launching their own awards scheme, separate from the ISPCA, to encourage and honour gardai who will a take a leading role in promoting animal welfare.
The awards will be given to those gardai who display a commitment above and beyond the call of duty in promoting animal welfare and protecting them from any form of cruelty or unacceptable treatment or pain.
LSPCA chairperson Geraldine Nardone said this has been their busiest year in the past five years, and said hundreds of horses are put down each year as their owners refuse to take responsibility for them.
“We have to be constantly vigilant about protecting animals in the community. Only last month there were a number of horrific incidents in the region in which animals were unacceptably treated,” she said.
Ms Nardonne said they have had no prosecutions against the owners of abused animals in recent years, as proving ownership of abandoned animals continues to be a difficult issue.
She also welcomed the co-operation of Chief Supt. Dave Sheahan, Supt. Frank O’Brien, and Supt. Dan Keane in this initiative.
A number of dedicated gardai have been specifically assigned to work in close association with the LSPCA to ensure the maximum effort is made to protect animals and assist their owners.
“This is a very important partnership with the LSPCA with whom we have been working for a number of years,” said Chief Supt Dave Sheahan.
“This is a further step in our working relationship to ensure that the welfare of animals is protected, and that criminality in respect of any cruelty or unacceptable treatment of animals is prevented or curbed”.
Supt O’Brien they take “firm action” against any matter that’s reported to the gardai, but said if the animal was chipped it would be very easy to identify the owners, and that measure “would go a long way to safeguarding animals.”
In addition to these initiatives the LSPCA is preparing to celebrate 130 years of service in 2013.