THREE greyhounds and two lurchers rescued by Limerick Animal Welfare have got the red carpet treatment in Italy.
Some of them were malnourished and had urine scalds on their feet from their poor kennelling conditions, now they have been rehomed with affluent Italian owners.
Judging by some of the photographs sent to Limerick Animal Welfare their new owners aren’t suffering from the Italian recession.
The five dogs were given a ceremony, attended by a former Minister, on their arrival in Brianza, near Milan. The story made several Italian national newspapers and TV stations.
Marion Fitzgibbon, of Limerick Animal Welfare, said they were contacted by Italian welfare group SOS Levrieri through UK Greyhound Compassion.
“They heard about the work we do. Three of them flew in and we brought them to the sanctuary. They picked out Danny, Gypsy, Limo, Teddy and Rocky.
“You don’t normally send dogs out in July and August because it gets really hot but they went out through a UK pet chauffeur transport firm. They had a lovely air conditioned mini-bus and the driver slept overnight with them. SOS paid for it all. They’ve gone to the most beautiful families,” said Marion.
Gypsy and Danny had been in Kilfinane for over a year while Rocky was taken in after he was listed as “free to a good home”. He certainly got a good home as his plush surrounds above show.
Teddy and Limo were rescued, Marion said. “The had multiple bites, were very malnourished and their feet had urine scalds. Obviously they were standing in urine and living in very bad conditions.”
Marion, added that they have been “astounded” by the coverage in Italy.
“They don’t have greyhound racing there as far as I know. Greyhounds are very popular in Italy, they don’t have any image of them going around with muzzles. They just look at them as beautiful dogs,” said Marion.
They have had enquiries from around 100 Italians and they hope to send out more greyhounds.
While they are delighted to see greyhounds have new lives in Italy, they would rather rehome them in Ireland.
“They make wonderful pets. We don’t want to be sending these dogs abroad, they are Irish dogs and we want to keep these dogs at home. Why aren’t we rehoming them here?” asks Marion, who says their sanctuary is choc-a-bloc with cats and dogs at the moment.
She says it is has always been difficult to get big dogs adopted but now it is even becoming hard to rehome small dogs as well.
Meanwhile, Limerick Animal Welfare are holding their annual Doggy Day show in Kilfinane on Sunday, August 26 from noon to 4pm with classes, stalls and many attractions.