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Limerick wildlife lover campaigns for responsible cat ownership ahead of bird and mammal breeding season

The  #doyouknowwhereyourcatis campaign has been set up by Susan Kerwin, wildlife lover, falconer, bat rehabilitator and founder of Ireland’s first bat dedicated hospital.

“Domestic and feral cats have up to a TEN TIMES larger impact on Wildlife than native wild predators”- Susan Kerwin, the founder of Bat Rehabilitation Ireland told the Limerick Voice.

Bat Rehabilitation Ireland is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers who are willing to provide advice and are dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of Ireland’s Bats and native wildlife.

“Wildlife is already suffering due to habitat loss and destruction, pollution, climate change and invasive species.”

Susan explained that it is around this time of the year, that animals such as leverets, or young hares, are being born all over Ireland.

Birds are also beginning to nest in the hedgerows with vulnerable nestlings hatching in the coming months.

Animals such as hedgehog’s will be giving birth to young and rabbits kits will be venturing out of burrows.

Hoglets (baby hedgehogs) being cared for by Susan. (Photo via Susan Kerwin)             

‘If the tables were turned and it were our pet cats that were suffering we would do anything to protect them.’

Susan suggests that if you have a pet cat that you should: ‘keep your cats in during the day when fledglings are learning to fly and young mammals are being born.’

‘If cats are going out at night make sure to keep them in for at least an hour after it turns dark, to allow bats to emerge safely from their roosts.’

One of two leverets rescued after a cat attack – the other leveret didn’t survive. (Photo via Susan Kerwin)

Susan also had the following tips in order to protect wildlife from your cat:

  • Put a bell on your cat’s collar to alert wildlife to their presence.
  • Build a secure outdoor area for your cat to exercise.
  • Neuter your cats and support charities that provide TNR programs.
  • Love, protect and respect our wildlife as much as we do our pets.

For more information or advice you can contact Susan through the Bat Rehabilitation Ireland Facebook page.

If you would like to donate to the work that Susan and her team do you can do so through their GoFundMe page.

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