Sign In

Companion Canines

June 4, 2020

Caroline Delaney finds out how rescue charities are coping after Covid-19 pressed paws on adoptions

When Dave Fleming got ‘matched’ with his dream dog from a rescue charity he was thrilled.

There was just one hitch though — the logistics of getting Bumble on the 150k journey to his ‘forever home’ with Covid-19 restrictions limiting non-essential travel to 2, and then 5k.

Bumble was being well looked after in Kerry but Dave was keen to get him settled as a key family member and was also aware that all the enforced free time would be great to use for walks.

So Dave, an Abbey actor who’s currently in lockdown at his partner’s family’s farm in Laois, put out an appeal on Twitter.

He asked if there were any essential workers travelling that particular route who would be willing to help out. His post was shared hundreds of times and he spoke to a few good samaritans.

Now Bumble is home and enjoying being walked and praised and being top dog.

“He’s a very handsome dog alright and he has settled right in here. We’re delighted with him,” says Dave.

Bumble is a collie mix and Dave believes he may have been up for adoption due to not making the grade as a sheepdog: “We quickly realised that he has eyesight problems — cataracts.

“He’s able to find his way around alright so it’s not a huge problem. He hadn’t been mistreated as he has a very easy-going temperament so we reckon he was just rounding up the wrong things!”

A bright new ‘vest’ alerting passers-by to Bumble’s sight difficulties will help people understand any clumsiness.

Even in ‘normal times’ the process of matching dogs with owners can take some time if prospective owners are keen for a pet of a particular breed or age.

Agencies rehoming pets have to interview owners and assess their home for any dangers or escape routes that a new owner might not have spotted.

The Cork Society for the Prevent of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) had to close its door for the past two months but is now aiming to restart viewings by appointment only from June 3.

Manager, Vincent Cashman, said: “This, of course, will depend on how things are working regarding the Covid-19 outbreak and governmental advice and will be subject to change if we deem it necessary.

“This is a big change for our normal way of operating — as many of you know, you could just walk in for viewings previously but we need the full cooperation of you the public for this to work.”

However, his big concern is that people who bought a dog on a whim due to being home from work or to help keep children entertained during lockdown will not want to keep it once they return to work and children’s sports and school activities resume

“We have only had eight dog surrenders over the past two months. Normally we would have that many in a week. And other animals too such as cats, goats, rabbits and even Giant African snails.

“But we do fear that it may suit some people to have a dog around now and that they won’t keep it once this is over. I need to say this: you don’t need a dog to just go for a walk. You don’t need ‘an excuse’.”

Unusually, the CSPCA doesn’t have any cats for rehoming at the moment: “That’s probably because people are selling then online to whoever instead.”

The new pet adoption arrangement plans include bringing the dog to meet the prospective new owner in the exercise run.

Home inspections or will be carried out on a limited basis — if the garden is accessible through a side gate for example.

“All this is totally dependent on the latest safety guidelines and everything can change depending on expert advice,” warns Vincent.

The CSPCA also plans to rely on recommendations from trusted volunteers who could vouch for an owner.

He is concerned that people are paying exorbitant prices to dog ‘dealers’ online. “There is no care put into their breeding.

“Problems are being bred into them.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Izzy The Therapy Dog

    There is something different strolling the halls of schools in Moody this year and she’s soft, gentle and loves kids. Her name is Izzy and she is a two-year-old Goldendoodle, turned therapy dog. Her owner, Sgt. Ron Richardson, with the Moody Police Department, saw a video of a therapy dog being used in Cullman County […]

    Read more

    Animal Advocate

    Penny, a spaniel mix who works as a canine advocate for domestic violence victims through Crisis Center North, is nearing retirement. She was adopted from Action for Animals in Derry Township and attends court dates with victims to provide emotional support. But before she retires, she has one more job. She needs to train an […]

    Read more

    Dog Chow Campaign

    In honor of National Service Dog Awareness Month, Purina Dog Chow is launching its third annual “Service Dog Salute” campaign. A service dog can be life-changing in helping veterans with PTSD and other post-combat challenges. Unfortunately, due to the cost and time it takes to train a service dog, less than 1% of veterans in […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog In School

    A Derry primary school this week welcomed a new member of staff – its very own therapy dog. Joy will be used to provide comfort and reassurance to pupils at St Oliver Plunkett Primary School after studies have shown that therapy dogs have a positive impact on children’s mood and behaviour. St Oliver Plunkett is […]

    Read more

    Polices Therapy Dog

    The Great Barrington police department is holding a swearing in ceremony Friday for its new therapy dog, Officer Beko. Beko is a 16-week old black lab and works with Officer Kris Balestro. Beko’s training, certification and care are funded by donations from the local community. Officer Beko is the first therapy dog to join a […]

    Read more

    BarkBox Launching Essentials

    If your dog loves to monitor your work when you’re cooking, generally gets underfoot the entire time and sees “taste tester” as their official title, these new dog toys may be essential in your kitchen. Starting Oct. 1, Bed, Bath & Beyond is introducing a new line, specifically tailored to your dog’s kitchen needs. In […]

    Read more