Forever homes : Adoption rates in decline amid return to work at Limerick Animal Welfare

Now that Covid 19 restrictions are easing, and people have returned to work, the rate of animals being adopted has gone into decline, according to Limerick Animal Welfare.

Limerick Voice reporter Jody Coffey spoke to those working at the animal sanctuary which has started to see a return of ‘pandemic pets’.

Located in Moorestown, Co. Limerick, Limerick Animal Welfare is surrounded by beautiful scenic mountains and grassy fields; full of cosy shelters for animals from all walks of life.

While the sanctuary provides a safe and open space, these animals are in need of ‘forever homes’.

Manager of Limerick Animal Welfare, Marie O’ Connor, explains how in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic the “phones were ringing non-stop” and that “everyone across the board” wanted a furry friend when they were forced to stay at home.

Over 550 dogs and 350 cats were rehomed through Limerick Animal Welfare during lockdowns last year.

‘There was a huge demand for adopting puppies’

“There was a huge demand for adopting puppies, everyone wanted to adopt a dog during Covid. We’re not getting any inquiries now for dogs, the phones not ringing, it [interest in adoption] has eased.”

Now that restrictions are easing, and people return to work, the rate of animals being adopted has gone into a decline.

The shelter has already seen the return of pandemic pets to the sanctuary and predicts a lot more will be returned.

“We have had a few Covid puppies [returned]. I think when people do return to normal there’s going to be puppies that were got during Covid that are used to everyone being at home all the time, and when they go back to work, and they’re left alone they become destructive.

They get stressed because they’re not used to being on their own. So, I think it [the return of Covid puppies] will pick-up.”

The sanctuary has a no-kill policy, and animals who take refuge in Limerick Animal Welfare are housed indefinitely until they find their perfect match. But before you take the plunge and adopt an animal, there are important things you need to consider.

“We are quite strict on our rehoming: [applicants] must have a fully enclosed garden rather than a pen/electric wires, and they have to allow the dog into the home. We don’t do outside dogs. We do a home check for the dogs, but not for the cats. All the dogs are neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and wormed before they go.”

While you may not be placed to take on a new pet, Ms. O’Connor notes that there are other ways of helping, aside from adoption.

The sanctuary relies solely on donations to fund the day-to-day operations, medical treatments and rent of the facility.

Over 200 animals at a time reside at Limerick Animal Welfare where the staff and volunteers work tirelessly seven days a week and “really depend on donations from the public.”

“We are working on having a veterinary clinic on-site and renovating the rehoming kennels. We’re hoping to open a puppy unit so that when they come they have a separate kennels. We’d like to redo the paddocks and improve the kennels.

There’s always work to be done, and things to do. We’ve recently built a new hay barn and before that there were new stables built.”

What you can do to help:

You can show your support by donating to their website, Facebook and Instagram page, setting up a standing order, PayPal or by donating over the phone.

Additionally, Limerick Animal Welfare has two charity shops located in the heart of Limerick city, on Parnell Street and William Street where donations will go towards the well-being of all animals at the facility.

The team at Limerick Animal Welfare are always striving to improve the lives of the animals who are under their care and find their ‘Forever Homes’.

Anybody financially and emotionally ready to make the commitment to adopt a cuddly companion, is urged to make an appointment to visit the rescue sanctuary, meet the animals, and to discuss their options with Ms. O’Connor or another member of staff.

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